The Oscars: Eye Candy Categories

Today we will be covering what I like to call the Eye Candy categories; Best Production Design, Costume Design, Makup & Hairstyling and Visual Effects. Some of these will have clear cut winners while others might struggle with an upset victory. These categories are definitely considered minor league, but luckily if you’ve been able to watch the Best Picture nominees, most of your guess work has been done for you as to who will be taking home the golden statues come this Sunday. Without further delay…
Best Production Design:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
What comes to mind when I mention production design? For me, it’s almost the movies of old. The brick and mortar set designs, lavish locations and sweeping countrysides. There’s something magical about knowing that as the actors say their lines and hit their marks they are doing so on gigantic stages and locations all that have been painstakingly built in order to create this world that exists only in film. Those days are all but extinct. Now the Academy does not just take into account the aforementioned detailing, but also how places and things can be created by CGI and other forms of visual art.
So who wins? The wide acres of country and large forests and swamps of 12 Years a Slave? The throwback world in which American Hustle took place? The CGI created void that we know as space for Gravity? The extravagant houses and parties created for The Great Gatsby? Or the not-so-distant future in Her? Who will win? Using a very similar argument that I made in yesterday’s article (if you haven’t, go read it!), Gravity is already pushed to the front as it is leaps and bounds ahead of every single other nominee not just for this category but ALL of the technical categories. So that leaves us with trying to find a dark horse to possibly spoil the Gravity‘s winning streak. One could argue for Her, partially due to it’s cinematography and color, but I believe the true sneak play is The Great Gatsby. I did not particularly like this movie, however, whenever I hear it being discussed I immediately return to the party scenes, costumes, music, the houses and gardens and I am able to remember that I at least gleaned a little enjoyment from the film. And that’s the only thing I think is standing in Gatsby‘s way; the fact that it wasn’t widely received as a good movie so why should it deserve an Oscar for something that was clearly the only good part of the movie while Gravity possesses the complete package. Come awards night, I’m not entirely sure who should win, but I would not be surprised if The Great Gatsby stole this away from Gravity
Winner:  Gravity
Close 2nd: The Great Gatsby

Best Costume Design:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman

I must admit that it broke my heart reading various other articles about the same type of coverage I am trying to provide for the Oscars about how all that are allowed to vote in the Academy don’t actually watch all of the nominees. Sometimes, it could just be complete favoritism. Now I’m not completely naive, however, there was a small part of me that thought these people that make up the Academy are much more dedicated than myself and have seen these films more than once and are able to vote without a biased influence. Why do I bring this up? Well, for starters, if you’ve seen The Grandmaster and The Great Gatsby, then this category should be an easy choice, but due to American Hustle’s cool and retro costume’s they must at least be included in the conversation, which shouldn’t happen. 
I believe that this will be the only category that Gatsby will win (out of its 2 noms), but that’s partly because there probably wasn’t a whole lot of people that actually saw The Grandmaster (again, if you haven’t…DO SO!). The depiction of the early and mid-1900s fashion in China was absolutely beautiful and when reviewing this category it was all I could picture as a deserved winner. However, we’ve seen time and time again that the Oscars do not work like that. Truthfully, The Great Gatsby didn’t too badly having great costumes either, but for the most part, putting beautiful people in beautiful dresses and dapper tuxes isn’t really that hard and even in the party scenes it’s the same principle with just sooo many more people to put in dresses and tuxes (yawn). I think it’s a shame that Grandmaster doesn’t take this award home, but it just needed a bigger media push. There’s a lot of people out there that love the story of Ip Man, and this film was a beautiful take on that story, however, just not enough voters were probably wise to it. Oh well, there’s always the Razzies…
Winner: The Great Gatsby
Distant 2nd:  The Grandmaster
Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger
Ok, so if you’ve started reading any other Oscars coverage by now whenever they get to this portion of the nominees you’ve probably read the same statements over and over (at least I have)
Dallas Buyers Club‘s makeup budget was done on $250 for the whole 28 day shoot
NO ACADEMY EVER will give an award to a movie that begins with: “Jackass Presents:
The Lone Ranger had to have paid someone to actually get nominated for this award because so what if Johnny Depp spends 3/4 of the movie in white-face. Everyone else are wearing hats (no hairstyling needed). 
So what do you do with this information? It’s got to kill the producers of Bad Grandpa to know that if they would’ve only taken “Jackass Presents” from the title, they’d probably be a guaranteed lock to win the Oscar this year, but alas, I think I actually agree with bullet point number two. The Academy just doesn’t want to read that title out loud and give Knoxville the satisfaction of “pullin’ one over on the establishment.” It sucks too because I had to force myself to watch Bad Grandpa, but one thing was undeniable; the makeup was superb. It should win, but c’mon, you know it won’t. 
Winner:  Dallas Buyers Club
Should-Be Winner:  Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Best Visual Effects:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Let’s stick with the bullet points again:
–  Gravity, it has it on lockdown as the favorite to win all the technical categories, this one especially
The Hobbit, YEAH RIGHT! Most who saw it can only point to ONE scene (the barrels) as being 
                      any good. Smaug was clutch though. 
Iron Man 3, while the fanboy in me is screaming that this should win, everyone knows it’s just there 
                     to fill out the nominees
Star Trek Into Darkness, truth be told, this should be in the conversation for a win, but it came out
                                          so long ago that I think a lot of voters might have forgotten the jaw-
                                          dropping moments that came with this film. Don’t get me wrong, it was
                                          good, not great, but still deserves more press that it’s getting (which is 
Winner:  Gravity
Happy to be nominated:  Star Trek Into Darkness

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