2016 Oscar Circuit: Best Costume Design

Costume Design

Costume Design

Welcome to our annual Oscar Circuit series, our deep down look into each and every category that will be presented at the upcoming Academy Awards.  Each writer of AwardsCircuit.com will tackle a different category, offering up their own perspectives on those specific races.  If you miss a piece, click on the tag titled Oscar Circuit 2016. You can also see the official Oscar Predictions for that particular race by clicking on the link here or at the bottom of each article.  Make sure to include your predicted winners in the comment section too!

When it comes to Costume Design, and other technical categories, this is typically the place where the “other” films have a chance to shine on Oscar night. While everyone talks about the front runners and the actors, it is in some of these less-discussed categories that smaller films get some of the attention they deserve.

With Costume Design in particular, it’s an interesting category because this is where historical and fantasy films so often dominate with so much more to work with when it comes to wardrobe.

This year’s nominees include the beloved fairy tale Cinderella, historical films Carol, The Danish Girl and The Revenant, and the future-based sci fi Mad Max: Fury Road. Let’s take a look at each nominee’s merits.

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CAROL, Sandy Powell

Double nominee Sandy Powell has won the Oscar three times before and could very well be on her way to a fourth this year, but is Carol the vehicle to get her there? Powell’s 1950s wardrobe perfectly illustrates the different backgrounds of her two leads: Carol, the sleek and stylish socialite, and Therese, the artistic free spirit. The costuming in Carol is beautiful and appropriate to the time period and shouldn’t be overlooked as a potential surprise.

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CINDERELLA, Sandy Powell

Making her second appearance in this category, Sandy Powell again gets the opportunity to design costumes for the elegant Cate Blanchett. The thing about Cinderella is that, whether you loved the movie or didn’t, the one thing everyone was talking about afterward was The Dress. And whenever a costume selection is that crucial to a film and makes that big of an impact on the audience, it’s definitely something to take note of. All of the costuming in Cinderella is whimsical and fun, and does a great job of bringing out each character’s core traits. Cinderella is a heavy favorite to give Sandy Powell that fourth Oscar.

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THE DANISH GIRL, Paco Delgado

Costume Designer Paco Delgado has been nominated twice before, but has never won the Oscar. His work in The Danish Girl helps to tell the story of Lili Elbe, moving from the constrictive, structured suits and other pieces and transitioning into more free, flowing garments. As Elbe develops and becomes more comfortable in her new life, so does her perfectly designed wardrobe. Delgado has done beautiful work with The Danish Girl, but I think the nomination is his reward.

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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Jenny Beavan

So much of the costuming in Mad Max: Fury Road is not so much in what the characters are wearing, but what they are not. The five wives of Immortan Joe spend the entirety of the film wearing very little, which makes sense given the conditions and their roles in the world they inhabit. Trying to bring about a post-apocalyptic world where resources like water are scarce is a tough challenge, and Jenny Beavan’s costuming lived up to the task. Like Sandy Powell, Beavan has been nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, though she has only won once in 1987 for A Room With a View. If Fury Road has a big night in the technical categories, Beavan could finally go home with that second Oscar.

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THE REVENANT, Jacqueline West

The costume design for The Revenant definitely stands out when compared to the other nominees in this category. Instead of sleek, stylish getups or the imagined look of a hypothetical future world, this requires going a little farther back into history and getting much, much grittier. From soldiers’ uniforms to Native American dress to, finally, the bear skin donned by Leonardo DiCaprio, West’s costuming isn’t nearly as glamorous as her fellow nominees, but it is equally impressive. Nominated twice before, Jacqueline West has never won an Oscar, and likely won’t this year either, but if The Revenant just starts sweeping everything, don’t be completely surprised if this sneaks in there too.

WILL WIN: Cinderella. When it comes down to it, The Dress is the most impressive part of that movie, and I think it’s going to stick.

COULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

SHOULD WIN: They are each deserving, honestly, but my pick would be Cinderella.

CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL PREDICTION CATEGORIES:

PICTURE |DIRECTOR | LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS |SUPPORTING ACTOR |SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN |CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING |VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | FOREIGN LANGUAGE | LIVE ACTION SHORT | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT