With its win at the Costume Designers Guild last night, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has now swept the costume precursors – the first to do so since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road – and is on its way to a 2nd win for 89-year old Ann Roth, which will make her the oldest woman to win an Oscar if she triumphs on the 25th. James Ivory, who won Adapted Screenplay for Call Me By Your Name in 2018, is the current oldest winner ever. He was also 89 but older than Roth by three months.
There is a chance, albeit a small one, that Bina Daigler’s work in Mulan – which also won a CDG award – can surprise. Costume Design isn’t a category that is Best Picture-dependent as others tend to be and elaborate costuming can overcome a frontrunner. Trouble is, when that happens it’s usually one of two things; the type of European royalty we’ve seen win here for decades or a designer so well known (like a Colleen Atwood or a Sandy Powell) that they usurp. Baigler, on her first nomination, definitely doesn’t fall into that category and while royalty plays a factor in world of Mulan it’s not a traditionally celebrated one. Still, it has a reasonable outside chance to upset.
While Emma. hasn’t been able to snag any precursor wins, it didn’t miss a beat with nominations and it does have behind it a name. Alexandra Byrne is a 7-time Oscar nominee and winner for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the Jane Austen period era is quite the time and style that Oscar loves. She could also potentially upset, but again, an outside shot.
The 93rd Oscars will be held on April 25 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and the Union Station in Los Angeles.
Here are my ranked final Oscar predictions in Costume Design.
1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – BAFTA, BFCA, CDG
2. Emma. (Focus Features) – BAFTA, BFCA, CDG
3. Mulan (Walt Disney Pictures) – BFCA, CDG
4. Mank (Netflix) – BAFTA, BFCA, CDG
5. Pinocchio (Roadside Attractions) – CDG
Massimo Cantini Parrini