The Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling is particularly tough to predict early on because of the complicated system by which the nominees are determined in two stages. First, upwards of 15 members of the branch who attend special screenings cast preferential ballots with the top seven vote-getters moving on to the second stage. Those members from the first stage and any other members who either attend screenings of excerpts from these seven semi-finalists or attest that they have seen them cast preferential ballots and the top three films are nominated. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date predictions for this years Best Makeup and Hairstyling race).
As a result of being well-received at these screenings, titles that had not been part of the conversation in the first few months of awards season end up in the final three. For example, the Swedish films “A Man Called Ove” (2016) and “The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” (2015) bumped out films with much higher profiles like “Deadpool” and “Black Mass” respectively.
The award for Best Makeup was introduced in 1981, following an outcry over the lack of recognition with a special award for Christopher Tucker‘s groundbreaking work on “The Elephant Man” (1980). Hairstylists began sharing the award with makeup artists in 1993 when “Mrs. Doubtfire” won. However, the category didn’t change its name to reflect this until 2012.
Reviewing the list of recent winners reveals the various types of makeup and hairstyling that appeal to academy voters: prosthetics (“The Wolfman” in 2010, “Star Trek” in 2009, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, “Pan’s Labyrinth” in 2006, “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Event” in 2004, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003 and “LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring” in 2001), dirt and grime (“Mad Max: Fury Road” in 2015, “Les Misérables” in 2013 and “Braveheart” in 1995) and big wigs (“The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 2014, “The Iron Lady” in 2011 and “Elizabeth” in 1998)
Please note: Only those films with confirmed release dates are listed below. Check back often as new contenders are scheduled while others are dropped due to delays or critical reaction.
UPDATED: November 6, 2017
Luisa Abel, Patricia DeHaney, “Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.)
Naomi Bakstad, Robert A. Pandini, “Wonder” (Lionsgate)
John Blake, Camille Friend, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Marvel Studios)
Sarah Craig, Linda Downs, Sean Sansom, Dabra Manou, “It” (Warner Bros./New Line Cinemas)
Dave Elsey, Lou Elsey, Hannah Edwards, Sarah Kelly, “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Studios)
Peter King, Kristyan Mallett, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney Studios)
Nicki Ledermann, Jerry Popolis, “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Douglas Noe, Luca Vannella, Joe Whelan, “Thor: Ragnarok” (Marvel Studios)
Gloria Pasqua Casny, Joel Harlow, “Logan” (20th Century Fox)
Kazuhiro Tsuji, Lucy Sibbick and David Malinowski , “Darkest Hour” (Universal Studios/Focus Features)
Daniel Phillips, “Victoria and Abdul” (Focus Features)
Jordan Samuel, Paula Fleet, “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Christine Blundell, “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
Paul Engelen, “Phantom Thread” (Annapurna Pictures/Focus Features)
Julie Hewett, Jeri Baker, “Suburbicon” (Paramount Pictures)
Adam Johansen, Gloria Pasqua Casny, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (Walt Disney Studios)
Donald Mowat, Csilla Blake-Horváth, Jason Collins, Lizzie Lawson, “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros./Columbia Pictures/Alcon Entertainment)
Jan Sewell, “Breathe” (Bleecker Street/Participant Media)
TBA, “Justice League” (Warner Bros.)
TBA, “The Mountain Between Us” (20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment)
TBA, “The Post” (20th Century Fox)
Torsten Witte, “Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Wakana Yoshihara, Carol Hemming, “Murder on the Orient Express” (20th Century Fox)
Jacenda Burkett, “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” (Sony Pictures Classics)
John Caglione Jr., Lori McCoy-Bell, “Only the Brave” (Lionsgate)
Judy Chin, Adrien Morot, “mother!” (Paramount Pictures)
Camille Friend, Whitney James, “Detroit” (Annapurna Pictures)
Duncan Jarman, Rachael Speke, “Goodbye, Christopher Robin” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Beverly Jo Pryor, Larry M. Cherry, “Roman Israel, Esq.” (Columbia Pictures)
Stacy Kelly, Shandra Page, Tony Ward, “The Beguiled” (Focus Features)
Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (EuropaCorp)
TBA, “All the Money in the World” (TriStar)
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, “The Mummy” (Universal Studios)
UPDATED: November 6, 2017
Superhero films to do well in this category, and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” could follow in the footsteps of its 2014 predecessor to snag a bid. However, the crew is different this time around with the makeup artist being John Blake, a prior nominee for “Hoffa” (1992), and the hairstylist is Camille Friend.
Another critically acclaimed superhero film, “Logan,” could bring nominations to makeup artists Gloria Pasqua Casny and Joel Harlow. The pair previously contended together for their work on “The Lone Ranger” (2013). Harlow won for “Star Trek” (2009) and an additional bid for “Star Trek Beyond” (2016).
Peter King won an Oscar for his work as a makeup artist on “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and could compete again for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” depending on how many out-of-this-world creations the film features.
Period films often factor in here as well, particularly when a well-known historical figure is brought to life. From the looks of the trailer, Kazuhiro Tsuji, Lucy Sibbick and David Malinowski are certainly in the mix for transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill for “Darkest Hour.”
We will be predicting all 24 of the competitive categories at the Oscars. Click on the linked categories below to read our previews of each of these races.
Best Picture | Best Director | Best Original Screenplay | Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Actor | Best Actress | Best Supporting Actor | Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography | Best Costume Design | Best Film Editing | Best Production Design
Best Makeup & Hairstyling | Best Sound Editing | Best Sound Mixing | Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score | Best Original Song
Best Animated Feature | Best Documentary Feature | Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Short | Best Documentary Short | Best Live-Action Short