AMPAS narrows makeup category to seven

Posted by · 3:34 pm · January 10th, 2011

I’ve been noting for a while now that “Barney’s Version” could be a sleeper in the Best Makeup category due to some impressive aging.  The film joins six others today as a bake-off finalist.  The only film missing that I’m currently predicting is “Shutter Island,” so replace that with “The Way Back” (which I was predicting once upon a time), and that’s my bet.

The finalists:

“Alice in Wonderland”
“Barney’s Version”
“The Fighter”
“Jonah Hex”
“True Grit”
“The Way Back”
“The Wolfman”

Another potential sleeper is “The Fighter,” buy the way.  The work on Melissa Leo is pretty impressive.  Keep up with the race at its dedicated page here.

[Photo: Sony Pictures Classics]

→ 35 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

35 responses so far

  • 1 1-10-2011 at 3:40 pm

    JJ1 said...

    No Black Swan, Clash of the Titans, or The Tempest?

    And as Kris mentioned, slightly surprised by no Shutter Island; great work in there.

    Jonah Hex? Barney’s Version? Gah.

    From those 7 I’d say: Alice, Wolfman and either True Grit or The Way Back.

    By the way, The Way Back!!! :)

  • 2 1-10-2011 at 3:45 pm

    Hans said...

    This award covers hair as well, right? Melissa Leo’s ‘do should get a nod all by itself. I would love the Fighter to sneak in, a little tech love could do wonders for that film.

  • 3 1-10-2011 at 3:45 pm

    Dooby said...

    Yes, some notable snubs here.

  • 4 1-10-2011 at 3:53 pm

    The Dude said...

    Kinda surprised about the Black Swan snub. Sure, it’s not as flashy as some of the others, but the make-up during the finale was perfect (and much of the narrative is reliant on the “gross-out” make-up used during some of the earlier scenes, which was done expertly).

  • 5 1-10-2011 at 3:54 pm

    karol said...

    so for what kind of makeup work exactly those movies have been singled ?

  • 6 1-10-2011 at 4:03 pm

    JJ1 said...

    The Fighter – I can only assume Melissa Leo’s hair, the 7 sister’s hair, Bale’s gaunt face, some tattoos, and Wahlberg’s face after the fight(s).

    But I still think that’s a bit of a stretch; no matter how much I loved the movie.

  • 7 1-10-2011 at 4:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Something to consider, though I know it’s not “creative,” per se, but remember Wahlberg has quite a few tattoos in real life, yet he has his shirt off pretty much the whole film. Never underestimate the time and effort that goes into masking effects.

    Just sayin’.

  • 8 1-10-2011 at 4:11 pm

    Tom C said...

    These are a joke. Where is “Black Swan” and “127 Hours”?

    The Academy make-up branch is either biased against or completely blind to effective gore make-up. They go absolutely apeshit for prosthetics and aging. I mean films like “The Wolfman” and “Alice in Wonderland” obviously require an immense amount of work. However, creating a scenario in which a man cuts off his own arm and actually make that completely believable is fully worthy of equal recognition. Always, gore make-up is overlooked. “No Country for Old Men,” “Moon,” “District 9” and “A History of Violence” all have incredible wound make-up and none of them even received nominations.

    My girlfriend is a special effects make-up artist and every year she is infuriated by these nominations and I’m beginning to understand why.

  • 9 1-10-2011 at 4:20 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Wow, no “Harry Potter” or “Black Swan?” Unfortunate list.

  • 10 1-10-2011 at 4:24 pm

    eurocheese said...

    Darn, I was hoping Inception could steal this one. Black Swan would have been a great choice too.

    Can we please not turn Jonah Hex into an Oscar nominated film? Please>

  • 11 1-10-2011 at 4:35 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I can’t even think of what the makeup work in Alice in Wonderland was.. Depp didn’t have any prosthetics, did he?

    The Wolfman ought to be the frontrunner.. The rest is a crapshoot. Don’t know anything about the makeup work in most of these films.

  • 12 1-10-2011 at 4:38 pm

    matsunaga said...

    I was surprised Harry Potter didn’t show up even in this short list… I agree Ken Watanabe’s aging make up in Inception is good…

    Not enough to make it in the top 7 compared to Jonah Hex I guess?

  • 13 1-10-2011 at 4:40 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Alice in Wonderland’s makeup deserves some kind of award for actually making Anne Hathaway look unattractive.

  • 14 1-10-2011 at 4:49 pm

    Brady said...

    I’m really surprised about 127 Hours.

    Jonah Hex for an Oscar Nomination!!!!!

  • 15 1-10-2011 at 5:10 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    I’m just relieved not to see The King’s Speech here. Jacobi alone ought to have sunk it, but sometimes, when there’s a juggernaut…

  • 16 1-10-2011 at 5:11 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    People can snipe about “Jonah Hex” if they like, but I’ve always rather admired how this branch sticks up for work in otherwise maligned films.

  • 17 1-10-2011 at 5:18 pm

    Mr. F said...

    Damn, no Splice.

  • 18 1-10-2011 at 5:33 pm

    DylanS said...

    I’m sorry, but NO “BLACK SWAN”! Some of the most intriguing and story-essential makeup work in years and it doesn’t even make the bake-off! This is “District 9” all over again. Thank you once again makeup branch, for being consistently shitty with everything you do. Feel free to give the award to a hack piece of shit film like “The Wolfman” or “Alice in Wonderland”. What? You mean Rick Baker does good werewolf make-up and Tim Burton film’s have good make-up too? We get it, do something interesting for once and stop this love affair you have with honoring crappy films every year. Pardon my French everyone, but the blind insularity of this branch is like nails on a chalkboard for me.

  • 19 1-10-2011 at 5:40 pm

    DylanS said...

    And I understand what you’re saying completely, Guy. But there’s plently of intriguing and impressive make-up work done in good movies as well as maligned ones. “Black Swan”, “127 Hours” and “Shutter Island” immediately spring to mind, and I’m sure I could think of dozens more if I thought hard enough. I just wonder why “If we have good makeup in good films, why do we need to honnor good makeup in not just bad, but razzie-worthy material?”

  • 20 1-10-2011 at 5:40 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I’m so wrapped up in the lack of Black Swan that I totally forgot about HP7. I guess they’re saving up everything for next year. Maybe.

  • 21 1-10-2011 at 5:51 pm

    Estefan said...

    So, does Alice in Wonderland have this thing in the bag? I guess it’s going to be like last year. Two nominees reliant on aging or hair and one showy blockbuster which ultimately wins.

    I’m surprised Inception didn’t make the final bake-off, considering the excellent aging done on Ken Watanabe.

    I’m disappointed my favourite makeup of the year wasn’t even considered: the work done to bring Chloe Moretz’s inner vampire in Let Me In was fantastic, I thought.

  • 22 1-10-2011 at 6:50 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I’m with Guy on Jonah Hex. The makeup was actually well done on that film, and it’s not the makeup artist’s fault that the movie sucked. So I say good on the makeup committee to focus on the craftsmanship itself rather than throwing movies in there simply because they were better on the whole. Doesn’t mean they’re perfect or that they didn’t snub any films unfairly, but at least they’re paying attention to what they should be paying attention to.

  • 23 1-10-2011 at 7:36 pm

    Andrej said...

    This category is always so trollface.jpg it’s commendable. Only they can appreciate a specific craftwork in movies like Click and Norbit.

    But on paper, it’s so silly sometimes. The nominees are: “True Grit”, … “The Wolfman”, … “Jonah Hex”. lol.

    Here’s hoping for The Way Back to show up.

  • 24 1-10-2011 at 11:28 pm

    Hans said...

    After today’s ASC nominees, I guess we should appreciate that the seven nominees aren’t True Grit, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Social Network, The King’s Speech, and, hell, Toy Story 3.

  • 25 1-11-2011 at 12:08 am

    Pablo (BOG) said...

    I´m surprised Black Swan and Harry Potter are not in the list. Very sad.

    I say:

    Alice in Wonderland, The Way Back, The Wolfman

  • 26 1-11-2011 at 4:26 am

    Graysmith said...


    I highly recommend reading my comment just above yours. Why should the makeup artist be held accountable because the movie as a whole was bad? You can bash Jonah Hex and the like as much as you want, but direct the hatred towards the director/producers.

  • 27 1-11-2011 at 6:56 am

    Andrej said...


    I wasn’t bashing on Jonah Hex or the makeup branch, I was commenting that it’s always this guild the one who usually shows up with something bizarre and unexpected at the Oscars because it’s their job to award the yearly best in the art, even if it’s in film cyanide as Norbit or Jonah Hex.

    I just say it’s so silly to see those movies at the Oscars, even if it’s completely understandable from the makeup point of view.

  • 28 1-11-2011 at 6:59 am

    Andrej said...

    Well, now that I read my last message again, calling Jonah Hex “film cyanide” could be considered bashing it.

    But you know what I mean. :(

  • 29 1-11-2011 at 7:00 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Andrej: Don’t you wish more technical branches were that open-minded? Take that deadly dull list of ASC cinematography nominees that was announced yesterday, which seems determined more by Best Picture hype than the lensing in each film — is that preferable?

  • 30 1-11-2011 at 7:18 am

    DylanS said...

    Guy: I actually think all of the ASC nominees make a good case to be nominated. Not all my personal faves, but those are all excellent examples of great cinematography.

  • 31 1-11-2011 at 7:23 am

    JJ1 said...

    Yeah in ASC, I was hoping for one or two of Shutter Island, The Way Back, Never Let Me Go, Let Me In, Harry Potter, something else – to shake things up.

  • 32 1-11-2011 at 7:25 am

    DylanS said...

    I am surprised by the lack of “127 Hours”. I wonder if the double-bill had an impact at all?

  • 33 1-11-2011 at 7:41 am

    Andrej said...


    Yes, by all means (I was delighted with Wanted’s two little nods back then!), but I think it’s hard for the rest of the categories to really be as open-minded as make-up. When hand-made work is concerned, there’s not a whole lot to appropiately reward when they can use as much CGI as possible to help the character and environment design to look real.

    It’d be interesting for the Academy to finally establish the Best Stunt Work category. That would definitely spice things up with Salt (lol pun), Unstoppable, Kick-Ass, and other films with a valid field of work that the Academy olympically skips.

    Ontopic, though… the winners here have been traditional period films, for the most part. Trendwise, I guess True Grit’s the frontrunner here (if The Way Back remains largely unseen to them).

  • 34 1-11-2011 at 9:42 am

    Maxim said...

    I think that the fact that Inception didn’t make isn’t that suprising, actually. Yes, Watanabe’s make-up was good but, at the end of the day, it was just one guy, who, if memory serves, stayed stationary.

  • 35 1-11-2011 at 11:12 am

    Jez said...

    Based on previous winners (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia e.t.c) Alice seems to be a no-brainer frontrunner.