Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Art Direction

Lots of options to start us off this year:

I'm banking on a nomination for John Myhre and Gordon Sim for Nine. The pair previous won for Rob Marshall's Chicago, and Myhre a second time for Memoirs of a Geisha. Given that Nine is a dark, period musical (much like Chicago) I fail to see how this won't be nominated unless the movie REALLY tanks.

Gordon Sim could actually earn two nods this year if the Academy likes what he and Stephanie Carroll do with Amelia. It is a period biopic which gives it an edge, but there is still stiff competition from the likes of recent nominees Nathan Crowley for Public Enemies and James Murakami for Clint Eastwood's untitled Mandela project.

It's not uncommon for a fantasy film or two to earn placement among the five, especially if its also a period piece. This makes a nomination for The Wolf Man (Rick Heinrichs) or Cheri (Alan MacDonald) rather pheasible. As for James Cameron's Avatar, the art directors' branch hasn't been so kind to sci-fi movies since the late 80's, but if there's any director who can buck the trend, it's Cameron. Keep production designers Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg on the radar.

And what of the Potter factor? The art directors' branch has shown many times that they're not above giving due attention to sequels and series installments, and the Harry Potter franchise always offers Stuart Craig opportunities to design new and fascinating environments. This is my wild card pick.

Predicted Five
Amelia
Cheri
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Nine
Public Enemies

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