Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Best Costumes (Or: The Moment the Slumdog Thing Finally Spun Irrevocably Out of Control)

Slumdog Millionaire was nominated by the Costume Designers Guild today [src]. The end of the world is surely nigh.

It is written!

I blame Freida Pinto for being so beautiful in bright colors. It's surely her fault.

I once devoted a whole section of my website to costume designers I love their craft that much. Alas, I was lonely in that particular fascination. But they'll always hold a special place in my heart. The cinema (or at least the movie stars) would be naked without them. Here's the clothes the costumers dug most this year.

Contemporary Film
Excuse me while I gnash my teeth at the absence of both Susan Lyall, who delivered a vibrant multiculti mishmash and terrific individual character work for Rachel Getting Married, and Jacqueline Durran, last year's Oscar nominee for Atonement who proved her worth again with Happy-Go-Lucky. Little known factoid to impress your friends with: Ann Roth costumes Meryl Streep constantly -- ten projects together already. Bet she knows Mary Louise's measurements by heart at this point.

Period Film
Some real Oscar contenders here of course. Unless awards bodies are called on to single out contemporary features (as is the case with the CDG) they tend to ignore them. Most nominees are drawn from period films. Also: notice the absence of Australia here. It can't get arrested this awards season. In any category apparently.

Fantasy Film
The majority of your Costume Oscar nominees will be drawn from these 13 films but maybe not all five. The Costume Design Guild is less predictive of Oscars than some other guilds. You can probably subtract both "fantasy films" that aren't named The Dark Knight from the possible nominees.

You can probably also subtract Milk from the equation. No offense to Danny Glicker but Oscar voters just don't do the 1970s. Trust me, I pay close attention to this category. For reasons unbeknownst to me they do not do 70s. Do they have traumatic life experiences involving bell bottoms?


BeRightBack said...

Only three nominees for "Fantasy" and no nomination for The Fall? Or is it ineligible for some reason (when was it "officially" released?)?

Also, I really liked the costuming in Milk. It was so period, yet so natural? Although James Franco's initial hair was a big hard to take, I'll admit.

Pablete said...

Could "Australia" be the Australian "Atonement", getting a surprising fifth slot in the Best Picture race and many tremendously deserved nominations for its beautiful cinematography, soundtrack, costumes, decoration, sound and visual effects?

Anonymous said...

No Hellboy II in fantasy??
Sammy Sheldon did a really great job, the costumes work amazing with the make up that in some cases is hard to know when witch one begins and the other ends.

Anonymous said...

And who said that the "they dont do 70's" thing is always bad? That at least means no Frost/Nixon in Costume Design!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just don’t get it.

They designate a special category to help fantasy films and don’t even bother nominating the imaginative, fascinating work on THE FALL?!?... the same man behind the genius of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA’s indelible costumes!

I’m equally pissed by the absence of HAPPY-GO-LUCKY. Total bs in my opinion.

Hoping to see DUCHESS, DARK KNIGHT (can it make it Oscar?) and SEX AND THE CITY named the winners here.

And while Field’s SEX attire may be wayyyyyy over the top at times, I’ll still grin if she gets an Oscar nod.

Anonymous said...

"Slumdog Millionaire" is such a powerful drug that it should have been banned before every organization started smoking it. Now it's too late.

My favourite so far: Jacqueline Durran's work on "Happy-Go-Lucky". It fits characters perfectly, and it's funny and eye-POPPYing without being too showy.


Anonymous said...

slumdog for costume design? really?
for the outstanding achivement in put to the kids dirty shirts?

every day my hate grow against these people that make me hating the film.

Eric Arvin said...

Costume design is one of the most fascinating aspects about a film, not only aesthetically but on a psychological level.

I was pretty impressed last year when Across the Universe was nominated. My favorite WIN of all time in this category has to be The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Anonymous said...

I"m sorry, but isn't Iron Man mor fantasy than The Dark Knight?

bubba said...

I agree, "Hellboy II" was fantastic, as well as "Rachel Getting Married". I haven't seen "Australia", but that also seems fantastic, costume-wise. These nominations are very uninspiring...

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

How is "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" period and "The Dark Knight" fantasy?
The "period" one is about a guy who ages backwards...and the "fantasy" one is about a superhero without superpowers...
I'm sick of these people trying to sneak these movies in at any cost and recurring to awful category fraud.
On a happier note, go Patty Field! And I'm still sure Catherine Martin makes it to Oscar.

Anonymous said...

There's a few undeserved nominees here, but I don't think Slumdog Millionaire is among them. It's more than putting the kids in "dirty shirts" which is pretty offensive, but moving on. Mamma Mia? Really? REALLY?!

And I agree with a lot of people, WHERE THE HELL IS THE FALL?! Argh!

Anonymous said...

It's not really about this particular nomination for Slumdog Millionaire but the fact that it gets everything and is considered perfect in every aspect (just like "The Dark Knight", it's not, no matter how much one want it to be).
I don't really care - I like the film, I don't love it. I don't think that sweeping all the awards will make me hate it (although it's extremely boring) but there are people who think it's annoying.

Anonymous said...

Really disheartening that Australia hasn't gotten any love for costumes, art direction, or cinematography. I mean, seriously - we get that the movie didn't do well, but it was *gorgeous* to look at.

Anonymous said...

More coverage of film costume design and the awards race at http://frocktalk.com

It's an interesting year, for sure.

Anonymous said...

You know, I love Slumdog. I think it'll be a top tier winner in the end. I don't even mind the sweep because, frankly, Hollywood's consistently unimaginative, so at least they're boring about a film I love (and yes, love). Of course, when it was Sideways sweeping, I was annoyed because I thought that was a solid B (grade, not type) and found all the praise ridiculous.

The thing that bugs me is that if this role was recast with another film/performance, I can imagine the SAME BACKLASH OCCURING. The Dark Knight? Hollywood loves a massive hit and AMPAS follows suit, so if you're not a big hit with an expensive budget, get out of the way (a la Titanic). Milk? Hollywood having it's "prop eight" moment, apologizing for that profoundly stupid vote (whether for Crash or for, regardless of said film's quality.

If Kate wins, the backlash will be ridiculous. After all, she starred in two highly baity projects, is VERY actively campaigning, participating in category fraud etc. Of course, if she wins, we'll ignore the fact that she's a highly talented actress (not everyone, of course. Many will be happy she won despite the fact that her reviews aren't par with the best of the category, just so she has an oscar). Clint winning would be cronyism, Rourke would be falling for the comeback story etc etc.

It's gotten to the point where you can watch a film in one of two modes - be part of the hype, or part of the backlash. It's frustrating.


Anyway, re: costumes. I think there are lesser nods. Rachel Getting Married was robbed. Who cares about the rest.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Mamma Mia! grabs an Oscar slot for Costumes. It's the kind of huge international hit that could show up somewhere and this is about the only place I could imagine for it as there is no original song. It will of course feature in the technical awards at the BAFTAS (Hair & Make-Up for one).

Kurtis O said...

The absence of "The Fall" is quite tragic. This was the one arena in which I thought it might get categorized. Here's hoping it's not too late.
I'll also call "The Duchess" as the winner right here and now.

Kurtis O said...

I'm sorry, "categorized" was supposed to be "recognized." I don't know where that came from.

Rob said...

Is anyone else surprised to see "The Wrestler" and "Mamma Mia" showing up in practically every guild? Could there be more support for the former than we think?

Anonymous said...

"Slumdog"'s great. Stop hatin'.

No love for "Australia" is really disappointing.

I want Patricia Field to win an Oscar.

gabrieloak said...

I hope you're wrong about Milk. I thought the costumes were very good considering it was a low budget film and they added to the authenticity of the movie. I want Milk to be nominated in as many categories as possible.

gabrieloak said...

I agree The Wrestler is a fine movie but I don't see nominating it for art direction or costumes. Yeah, that G-string that Tomei wore was really special.

Anonymous said...

THE FALL's absence is unbelievable!!! I think it was eligible. Eiko Ishioka was robbed and at this point it's difficult the Academy honour her with a second nomination...

the line-up could be this one: