While it’s true that films tend to have more widespread support within the academy if they’re also up for Best Picture, this isn’t always the case when it comes to some of the smaller technical categories.
Ever since the number of Best Picture nominees increased from five films to nine or 10 beginning in 2009, we’ve noticed an interesting pattern with below-the-line wins. Every year without fail, three craft Oscars have been awarded to films that missed out on a Best Picture bid.
That bodes well for “The Great Gatsby’s” production and costume teams and proves that a film doesn’t need that coveted Best Picture acclaim in order to win at the Oscars.
Here’s the year-by-year breakdown of tech wins for non-Best Picture contenders:
2012: “Skyfall” earned two Oscars — Best Sound Editing (tying with “Zero Dark Thirty“) and Best Song — while “Anna Karenina” claimed Best Costume Design despite being up against Best Picture nominees “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables.”
2010: “The Wolfman” won Best Makeup and “Alice in Wonderland” won Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
2009: “Crazy Heart” won Best Song, “Star Trek” won Best Makeup and “The Young Victoria” won Best Costume Design.
If the pattern of three tech Oscars going to non-Best Picture nominees holds this year, we may indeed see “The Great Gatsby” winning Best Production Design and Best Costume Design, giving Catherine Martin bookends to her Oscars for these same two categories for “Moulin Rouge!” (2001).
But what about that potential third spot?
According to our odds, “Frozen” is a lock to win Best Song for “Let It Go.” But could we be in for a shock in the Best Makeup and Hairstyling race, where either “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” or “The Lone Ranger” might prevail against current frontrunner (and Best Picture nominee) “Dallas Buyers Club“?
Vote below for Best Production Design using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then sound off in the comments section below. The 86th Academy Awards air March 2 on ABC, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.