It’s great seeing this category cast such a wide net of what types of makeup and hair comprise any given film. We have a traditional period piece, a classic Hollywood era, old people makeup, painstakingly applied prosthetics as well as horse hair wigs and era-specific grease paint.
The careful curls and tendrils in Emma. beautifully fit with classic period pieces that this category used to be chock full of before prosthetics took over. The gorgeously crafted wigs and period makeup in Mank, created specifically for black and white cinematography, especially Amanda Seyfried’s platinum blonde hair that burns bright like the sun. The aging of Amy Adams and Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy with fried out wigs, deep aging and understated prosthetics. Prosthetics in Pinocchio made to look like wood that’s so real you’d swear you’re looking at CGI. The grease paint for Viola Davis’s Ma Rainey and horse hair wigs, factually accurate for the 1920s, that came in full of manure and lice eggs before being transformed to be wearable.
With their nominations, Ma Rainey‘s Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women ever nominated in this category. A win here would be even more historic. It’s only the third film ever to be nominated here with a focus and Black hair or makeup and with a primarily Black cast after 1985’s The Color Purple and 2007’s Norbit.
As the precursors unfolded, it became clear that Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was going to enter the Oscars as the favorite. It won Critics Choice, both of its MUAH (Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists guild) nominations and BAFTA this weekend, all against its Oscar competition. Pinocchio is the only other nominee to win a precursor award, at MUAH for its special makeup effects over Hillbilly Elegy. If anything could spoil, that would be it.
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 Makeup and Hairstyling.
1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – BAFTA, BFCA, MUAH (x2)
Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson
2. Pinocchio (Roadside Attractions) – BAFTA, MUAH
Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti
3. Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix) – BAFTA, BFCA, MUAH (x3)
Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle and Patricia Dehaney
4. Mank (Netflix) – BAFTA, BFCA, MUAH
Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen LaBaff
5. Emma.(Focus Features) – BFCA
Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze