Taps over at InContention has the exclusive breakdown of the seven finalists for the Academy’s Best Makeup award.  Like the Visual Effects contenders, each contender will present to the branch members at a “bake off.”  The members will then vote on the final three nominees who will be announced on the omring of Thursday, January 22. 

The finalists are:

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Lowdown: Lock to make the final three.  Has an excellent chance of winning unless there is some sort of backlash because of all the CG facial work in the picture.

“The Dark Knight”
Lowdown: Are they really not going to nominate the team that reinvented the iconic look of the Joker?  Seriously?

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

Lowdown:  Serious contender, especially since so much makeup was involved in the look of numerous new characters.

The Reader

Lowdown: While the old age work on Winslet here is more impressive than Blanchett’s later years in "Button,' it would be a major surprise to see it nominated.

“Synecdoche, New York”
Lowdown: Impressive work, but is it flashy enough to make the final cut?

“Tropic Thunder”
Lowdown: Another strong candidate. Why the work on Ben Stiller for going full retard in “Simple Jack” alone…

The Wrestler
Lowdown: Not sure there is enough here for this indie to break into the final three.

As Taps notes, the only surprises not to make this list are “W.,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” and “Frost/Nixon.”  I’d also add “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” to that list, although it appears besides the bean counters, everyone else in town wants to forget it ever happened.