Tech Support: Final predictions for Best Costume Design, Film Editing, Production Design and Sound
We're within a week of the big moment. Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday next week and we'll find out which films are the dominant forces throughout the Academy's various craft categories. Yesterday we began final Tech Support analysis of the field with the categories of Best Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song and Visual Effects. Today we round out the field with the rest.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN (Tech Support Analysis)
I reckon Patricia Norris ("12 Years a Slave") and especially Catherine Martin ("The Great Gatsby") are pretty assured of nominations for detailed period work, the sort of which this branch eats up. The former's omission at BAFTA was strange but I also note BAFTA nominated the AMPAS-ineligible "Behind the Candelabra." Daniel Orlandi ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Michael Wilkinson ("American Hustle"), meanwhile, have prestigious films with showy costumes. Both probably have a first nomination coming and both have earned BAFTA nods. All four of these costume designers received BFCA and CDG nods.
Another CDG (period) nod went to Kurt & Bart for "Dallas Buyers Club." As fine as this work was, I think this is mostly just an American guild in love with the film. Instead, I'd look to Michael O'Connor to get the last nomination for "The Invisible Woman." He's managed two nominations for 19th Century England work before, on films that earned just one other nomination between them. BAFTA cited him. I expect AMPAS to follow suit.
However, my gut continues to tell me that Trish Summerville may get in for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," an outlandish display of color and creativity. This branch sometimes goes for that. But at the expense of period prestige? Hit-and-miss. I do think Summerville has a better chance than her fellow fantasy CDG nominees Gary Jones & Michael Kutsche for "Oz the Great and Powerful" (I think the film is forgotten, not that that always matters with the costume designers) or Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (notwithstanding their BFCA nomination, I feel the novelty has worn off of the threads of Middle Earth).
"The Great Gatsby"
"The Invisible Woman"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
"12 Years a Slave"
(alt: "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire")
BEST FILM EDITING (Tech Support Analysis)
Now here is a six-film race if there ever was one. The BFCA cited "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Rush," "12 Years a Slave" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." BAFTA dropped "Hustle." The American Cinema Editors (who divide into drama and musical/comedy) somehow missed "Rush" but that doesn't mean I don't think these six films will still be battling it out for the next six days.
"Gravity" certainly seems safe, being a post-production showcase at heart of the Best Picture race, and with suspense being so integral to its plot. Alfonso Cuarón (who edited with Mark Sanger) is likely to get his second nomination in the category. In second I would place Christopher Rouse. Not only does he seem incredibly respected by his colleagues, but "Captain Phillips," like "Gravity," is absolutely reliant on suspense.
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers became surprising nominees last year for "Silver Linings Playbook," showing the esteem in which they are held by their colleagues (or at least, how beloved that film was). "American Hustle," where Alan Baumgarten joined their team, is more of an editing showcase. The only reason they would miss this year would be the competition. But I'm guessing they won't. I'll also go with "12 Years a Slave," my bet for the likely Best Picture winner, if only because it's so unusual for a Best Picture winner to miss a nomination here. But maybe it's not so safe?
Daniel P. Hanley and Mike Hill are enormously respected by their colleagues, and this year they have edited one of the baitiest films in this category: a car racing feature. Logically, they should be assured, especially with BAFTA and BFCA nominations behind them. Their biggest potential pitfall is the fact that the film didn't catch box office fire – plus the competition. And then there's that strange ACE omission. While they've overcome that before ("Cinderella Man"), I'm guessing it'll be too much this year.
And of course there's the highly respected Thelma Schoonmaker. While the film is obviously divisive, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is clearly making waves. Moreover, she has to tie Michael Kahn's record for most Best Film Editing nominations among working editors eventually, right?
"12 Years a Slave"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"