Saturday, February 24, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Costume Design

The competition: Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran), Darkest Hour (Jacqueline Durran), Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges), The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira), Victoria and Abdul (Consolata Boyle)

Previous winners: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, The Artist, Alice in Wonderland
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Double nominee Durran has been nominated four times before, winning in 2012 for “Anna Karenina.” Bridges has been nominated twice, winning for “The Artist” in 2011. Boyle has been nominated twice, including last year for “Florence Foster Jenkins.” This is the first nomination for Sequeira. “Darkest Hour” and “Victoria and Abdul” were not nominated for the Costume Designers Guild Awards, where “The Shape of Water” surprisingly defeated “Phantom Thread” and “Beauty and the Beast” lost to a film not recognized here, “Wonder Woman.” All but “Victoria and Abdul” competed at BAFTA, where “Phantom Thread” prevailed. Eight times in the past decade, this award went to a Best Picture nominee.

Who should win: “Victoria and Abdul” is the least impressive of this list, outfitting Brits and Indians in period garb. “Darkest Hour” does the same for its British government officials, while “The Shape of Water” also clothes its period characters in exceptional outfits. “Beauty and the Beast” is all about gorgeous costumes, and therefore would probably be my vote over the very relevant and central dresses and suits featured and created in “Phantom Thread.”

Who will win: Unless “The Shape of Water” sweeps the technical categories, this is a battle between Beauty and the Beast and “Phantom Thread.” Though the latter is probably the favorite, I think history favors female-centric period pieces, which will lead to the animation adaptation winning. But the surprise CDG win suggests anything is possible.

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