Tue. Jul 7th, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING and VISUAL EFFECTS (September)

Renée Zellweger in JUDY (Photo credit: David Hindley / Courtesy of LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions)

September marks the first Oscar predictions in Makeup & Hairstyling and Visual Effects, categories that will see shortlists and bakeoffs come December.

New this year, and finally, the Academy has expanded the Makeup & Hairstyling category from three to five nominees. A long time coming. This should (might?) open the door for what styles of makeup and hair get acknowledged in the glut of heavy prosthetics and fat suits that often take up so much space. This is where we might see Focus Features’ Downton Abbey or Lionsgate’s Bombshell break in. Or Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, which seems primed for so many of these below the line nominations.

On top though are two wildly different takes on performers crumbling under the weight of their careers, pressures and trauma. I’m talking about Roadside Attractions’ Judy, in which Renée Zellweger embodies the final year in the life of screen legend Judy Garland and Joaquin Phoenix in Warner Bros’ Joker, with his undeniable graphic makeup that is the cornerstone of his identity.

Three film will try and ride the balance between makeup and visual effects: Cats, The Irishman and Gemini Man. It’s unlikely that they’ll qualify for makeup but they get their own sub-section here nonetheless.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Makeup & Hairstyling for September 17, 2019.

1. Judy (Roadside Attractions)
2. Joker (Warner Bros)
3. Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)
4. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
5. Downton Abbey (Focus Features)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

The Aeronauts (Amazon)
Hellboy (Lionsgate)
Little Women (Sony)
Rocketman (Paramount)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

Aladdin (Disney)
Avengers: Endgame (Disney)
Harriet (Focus Features)
IT: Chapter Two (Warner Bros)
The King (Netflix)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
Us (Universal)


Cats (Universal)
Gemini Man (Paramount)
The Irishman (Netflix)

BB-8 and D-O in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX – RISE OF THE SKYWALKER (Courtesy of Walt Disney Company)

It’s crazy to think that no film in the three sets of Star Wars trilogies has won the Oscar for Visual (or Special) Effects since the very first, 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It’s a landmark series that defined and pushed the boundaries of visual effects for all other films yet it’s never been able to win again since. Could that change with the final episode in the current Star Wars trilogy, Rise of the Skywalker?

Another ending trilogy, Avengers (Endgame) is angling for a nomination and win. It’s another visual effects-heavy series that has been nominated plenty of times but never won this category.

Both films will face stiff competition from The Lion King, not the least of which is the fact that these are all Disney films. Internal competition for awards may cost the Mouse House awards cred but I’m sure the bank they make from each of these can dry those tears.

We’ve only seen a few glimpses of the de-aging in Netflix’s The Irishman and it didn’t look too hopeful. There’s even more de-aging to be seen (taking its Oscar-winning stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci all the way back to their 20s) but so far it’s kinda iffy.

And what to do with the ‘digital fur technology’ of Cats that looks…like it does. Internet scoffing is one thing, but maybe voters will feel different.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Visual Effects for September 17, 2019.

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
2. The Lion King (Disney)
3. Avengers: Endgame (Disney)
4. 1917 (Universal)
5. The Irishman (Netflix)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
The Aeronauts (Amazon)
Cats (Universal)
Gemini Man (Paramount)
Terminator: Dark Fate (Paramount / 20th Century Fox)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

Alita: Battle Angel (20th Century Fox)
Aladdin (Disney)
Captain Marvel (Disney)
Dumbo (Disney)
Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner Bros)
Pokemon Detective Pikachu (Warner Bros)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (Sony)

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