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Hollywood Contenders – Seven Films are up for nominations in the Makeup and Hairstyling category

Black Mass Johnny Depp
Yesterday afternoon, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made another category announcement. This time, it was the shortlist for the Best Makeup & Hairstyling category. The large field has been reduced to just seven contenders, with three set to be nominated for Oscars (this is the rare category that doesn’t have five nominees, hence the smaller than usual short list finalists). I wanted to take a quick look at the films left in contention for this Academy Award, show you a bit of history with the category, and try to figure out just what might happen here. So, let’s do it…

First up, here is the recent history of the Best Makeup & Hairstyling field, at least in terms of winners:

2014 – The Grand Budapest Hotel
2013 – Dallas Buyers Club
2012 – Les Misérables
2011 – The Iron Lady
2010 – The Wolfman
2009 – Star Trek
2008 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2007 – La Vie en Rose
2006 – Pan’s Labyrinth
2005 – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2004 – Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2002 – Frida
2001 – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2000 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

As you can see, often this category favors a large scale and very noticeable work. It’s the type of place where sometimes you can argue that “best” actually means “most”, even if the nominees are rarely bad choices. The winners can just seem a bit obvious, if that makes sense? This time around, the seven shortlisted finalists fit in for that sort of thing, though a few do represent potentially very interesting choices. The field is wide open as well, and that’s a good thing if you ask me. A technical category without a frontrunner is always a plus, as it creates more of an unpredictable vibe on Oscar night, by and large.

This year, the movies left off this list seem to be all of the ones that most people were predicting. The snubs in the category included Carol, The Danish Girl, In the Heart of the Sea, Macbeth, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and others not making the cut. Frankly, it’s surprising that all of those were left off. In fact, those could have been seen as the five most likely bets at one point, with any three seeming set for nods. I could have easily seen Carol, The Danish Girl, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens having turned into the three getting the noms. That’s not to be though, as they won’t even be in the running.

So, what’s going to happen in this category now? Well, I think the three in the best positions are Black Mass, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Mr. Holmes, with The Revenant close behind. Concussion and Legend seem a bit too subtle for the Academy here, while honestly until now I’d never even heard of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared. That actually could make this mystery contender a big threat to sneak in, but without being able to speak to its quality at all, I’ll hold back for now and keep it at the bottom of the back. Any of these players could get in though, so you’ll just have to see my next prediction update to see which three I’m backing at the moment…

Here now are the seven finalists for the Oscar in Best Makeup & Hairstyling:

Black Mass
Concussion
Legend
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mr. Holmes
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Stay tuned to see which three movies will be nominated in the Best Makeup & Hairstyling category at the Academy Awards!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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