Tech Support: Is 'Gravity' set to dominate the Academy's crafts categories?
Here we are. After months of seeing the films and seeing them campaigned, we’re 72 hours away from the winners being revealed.
In the crafts categories, we’ve already had a race for the ages, where highlights have included some legendary accomplishments ("Gravity's" visual effects anyone?), the makeup artists and hairstylists continuing to prove their eclecticism and the division between the costume designers and the production designers proving uneventful, with each branch pretty much behaving in the same manner as before. This isn’t touching the most bizarre element of this year’s race – the controversy in Best Original Song.
Expect "Gravity" to dominate the crafts categories. Nominated for seven awards, it appears the favorite in many of the fields throughout. But that’s not to say Oscar night won’t have some exciting moments. Will there be any upsets? Will "The Great Gatsby" really become a double Oscar winner? Will "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" really be shut out of the crafts categories? What will Emmanuel Lubezki finally be like up on stage? What will win Best Original Song? And perhaps most telling of all…what will win Best Film Editing?
Here's what I'm thinking…
Eventually, I feel criticisms of "it was all done by computers" will lead to a frontrunner coming up short here. But I'm pretty sure it won't be this year. Emmanuel Lubezki has had an Oscar coming for a long time and "Gravity" is a visual feast, headed to a host of Oscars, and he's won precursor awards up the wahzoo.
Meanwhile, his competitors all have handicaps: "Inside Llewyn Davis" (too small and evidently not terribly loved by AMPAS), "The Grandmaster" (too foreign and not seen widely enough), "Prisoners" (the film's sole nomination can be attributed to the esteem in which Roger Deakins is held by his peers). I suppose that leaves Phedon Papamichael in second for his black-and-white lensing of "Nebraska." But it's a very distant second.
Will Win: "Gravity"
Could Win: "Nebraska"
Should Win: "Inside Llewyn Davis"
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
I have some reservations about predicting "The Great Gatsby" to become a two-time Oscar winner. But I cannot deny that Catherine Martin seemingly has everything going for her -- very showy, very noticeable, very period. Moreover, she's won the BAFTA and BFCA.
"12 Years a Slave" is a better loved film with a legendary costume designer. I suspect the opportunity to honor her put the film on top for the CDG award. But will the whole Academy know that Patricia Norris is on her sixth nomination, awaiting her first win? Meanwhile, Michael Wilkinson’s notably character-building and poster-adorning showiness on "American Hustle" has its fans as well. I suspect the lack of an obvious Best Picture favorite between the two will mean it will make it difficult for either to stand out enough to trump "Gatsby."
Michael O'Connor's nomination for "The Invisible Woman" just goes to show how much his colleagues respect his takes on 19th Century England while William Chang should take comfort in his extraordinary work for Wong Kar-wai (he also serves as production designer and film editor) finally being recognized.
Will Win: "The Great Gatsby"
Could Win: "12 Years a Slave"
Should Win: "The Grandmaster"