Wed. Nov 20th, 2019

2019 Oscar Predictions: MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING (February)

The Academy has has an odd history with this category. It’s bizarrely stuck at only three nominees when year to year shows there are more than enough contenders to flesh it out to five. Between traditional hairstyles of Victorian period pieces to elaborate fat suits and facial prosthetics, it remains a mystery that the Makeup & Hairstyling branch hasn’t made a move to change that. The answer might lie in the power of the branch itself (and why it ended up being one of the four categories being pushed to commercial breaks this year) and its lack of size. At 183 members it’s the smallest in the Academy.

In Vice, the makeup and hair designers Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney used a combination of makeup, prosthetics and wigs to age Christian Bale, 44, as Dick Cheney from age 21 to 75. Although Bale is known for his personal body transformations for roles (and indeed, he gained 40lbs for Vice), Cannom, a three-time Oscar winner, used a complicated set of wrap around prosthetics for his neck, cheeks and chin plus not one but two pieces for his nose. This process took nearly four hours a day for Bale, who had never used prosthetics for a role before.

Annapurna Pictures

In Border, designers Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer used a complicated set of gelatin and silicone to transform Eva Melander and Eero Milonoff into animalistic trolls. Their work features detailed gender non-conforming body hair transformations, especially in scenes of full nudity. Their work on Melander alone involved eyebrows created hair by hair, nose pieces, two eyelids, two cheeks, two ears, and a chin. Lundström and Goldammer are first-time Oscar nominees.


For Mary Queen of Scots, Oscar-winning makeup designer Jenny Shircore was no stranger to working with Queen Elizabeth; she won an Oscar for her makeup work on Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Taking Margot Robbie, from one of the most recognizably beautiful actresses working to a face full of smallpox scars and ravaged health was no small task. From her eyes, eyebrows, nose, and even her lips, it took three hours for Robbie’s makeup on days that required either the thick, white makeup or the pitted, scarred remains of disease. The complex hair designs for Robbie and Saoirse Ronan’s Queen Mary took upwards of three hours each. Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks are first-time Oscar nominees.

Liam Daniel / Focus Features

BAFTA and Critics’ Choice both went for Vice. The Makeup and Hairstyling Guild (MUAH) awards are this weekend with Vice and Mary Queen of Scots competing against each other in the Period Makeup category. Mary Queen of Scots is also nominated in the Period Hair category and Vice in Special Makeup Effects. Border is not nominated at the MUAHs.

Here are my ranked 2019 Oscar predictions in Makeup & Hairstyling for February 14, 2019.

1. VICE – Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney (BAFTA, BFCA)
2. BORDER – Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
3. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
BAFTA – British Film Academy Awards
BFCA – Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice)
MUAH – Makeup and Hairstyling Guild

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