The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has unveiled the shortlist for the films that will contend for the Best Make-Up and Hairstyling Academy Award. Seven titles were selected including The Grand Budapest Hotel and Guardians of the Galaxy. Unlike most design categories in contention at the Oscars (production design, costume design, etc.), the make-up and hairstyling category begins with a bake-off where eligible films are whittled down to a shortlist of a few contenders. Out of those pre-selected titles, typically three films become Oscar nominees selected by members of the make-up and hairstyling branch of the Academy. Finally, a winner selected by the entire Academy membership.
The Make-Up category began officially in 1981, a year after complaints were made that David Lynch’s acclaimed 1980 film The Elephant Man‘s make-up wasn’t honored properly. The Make-Up and Hairstyling branch is also somewhat notoriously known for its outre tastes in nominating work for critically derided recent movies like Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Click, Norbit, and The Wolfman (which won the Oscar in 2011). This year’s line-up doesn’t seem to offer such embarrassments and clearly demonstrates traits the branch is known for acknowledging, like old-age make-up and prosthetic work (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything, Maleficent). There’s also a number of films on the shortlist where the divide between make-up effects and computer generated effects may play some of a part (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent).
Curiously, a few films – including Into the Woods, Get On Up, Unbroken and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (a film series that has done well in the past in this category) – were all snubbed for proceeding further. Last year, Dallas Buyers Club won the Oscar for Best Make-Up and Hairstyling over Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa and The Lone Ranger. As proof of the branch’s somewhat off-consensus choices, consider that last years’ hairstyling heavy Oscar favorite American Hustle (sometimes known as its alternate title “Explosion at the Wig Factory”) didn’t even make it to the shortlist. The nominations for the 87th Academy Awards will be announced on January, 15, 2015. A full list of the shortlisted titles below:
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Theory of Everything