More FiLM BiTCH Awards for you: cinematography & costume design.
I love these categories. Smart movie lovers realize how crucial they are to a film's success. Put your character in the wrong outfit and light them the wrong way and suddenly it's so less... right. Have them in the perfect outfit, with the right mix of character-revealing specificity and beauty (if it's called for) and suddenly... MAGIC.
Oscar went with Bright Star, Coco Before Chanel, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Nine and The Young Victoria in the costume category. Those are all valid and defendable choices, if a little obvious. For example, though I liked Nine more than most people -- and apparently if you didn't think it was the apocalypse in cinematic form, you did, too -- I'm struggling to see what's particular G-R-E-A-T about the costumes though I do like quite a lot. Pretty. Though I try to see all the Oscar contending films I did miss Coco Before Chanel. I blame my allergies to biopics combined with my misguided belief that it would get shut out of nominations and thereby end the mandatory viewing obligation.
I'm frustrated that Anna B Sheppard's work on Inglourious Basterds was snubbed by the Academy. I thought it was a really solid bet. But just like actors, various craft people also have different levels of awards magnetism and she gets the weird snubs, she does. For instance, Band of Brothers (the HBO miniseries) got 19 Emmy nominations in its day, but her costume design wasn't among them. Weird.
And see this man here?
That's Greig Fraser, director of photography on Bright Star. He's from Melbourne, he's only nine years into his screen career. He's only made a couple handfuls of shorts and features. But look what he can do already!!! He has a right to be furious about that Oscar snub. If he is furious. But I'm sure he'll get his revenge by getting even more brilliant as bigger jobs open up. This movie has to be a pretty great resume piece for a DP, no? His next gig: the remake of Let the Right One In... shortened to Let Me In.
How anyone can look at Bright Star and not see that it's one of the worthiest pieces of cinematography this year... I'll never understand. AMPAS is filled with strange people of strange tastes and peculiarities.
My Ballot: Cinematography and Costume Design.
What were your favorites in these categories this year?