Monday, February 15, 2010

One Category at a Time: Best Costume Design

This category always tends to be a refuge for weak films with flashy threads. This year has five films that have failed to elicit much of passion from the industry at all.

That doesn't mean they're all bad. Bright Star and, to a lesser extent, Nine are fine films, and both are more than deserving of a win here. But if the last three years are any indication, your winner is The Young Victoria for its endless parade of frilly period gowns and royal corsets. It's as though Academy voters are incapable of realizing that it is possible to design good costumes that aren't from this time period. I'll kvetch when it wins. Even the costumes of Coco Avant Channel or The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (weak films whose costumes really didn't do much for me) would be a better choice.

Let's just take this moment to remember the deserving costume designers whose subtle, character-serving work got shafted in favour of uninspired showiness:
Odile Dicks-Mireaux for An Education,
Anna B. Sheppard for Inglourious Basterds,
Jenny Beaven for Sherlock Holmes,
Casey Storm for Where the Wild Things Are,
Colleen Atwood for Public Enemies,
Hope Hanafin for (500) Days of Summer,
just to name a few.

Will win: The Young Victoria
Should win: Nine


Michael Stypulkoski said...

I can't believe Where the Wild Things Are didn't get a nomination here. I can only image that some people were turned off by the CGI involved, and that's a shame. My personal favorite in this category is probably Bright Star, but I'm predicting a Coco Before Chanel victory.

The Oscar Nazi said...

A victory for Coco, you say? Bold prediction.

Michael Stypulkoski said...

I think the Academy is ready to go with a non-period film, which, as you noted, have dominated the category recently. Not that CBC is exactly contemporary, but many of the costumes in the film could actually be worn today on the street, and I'm sure there will be at least a few actresses wearing Chanel on the red carpet this year. Just a hunch, really. But with a strong field a no real front-runner, any of the nominees could win it. I guess we'll see if the voters are ready to award something understated or if they feel that a costume needs to be costume-y to win.