When it comes to the Best Makeup and Hairstyling category at the Oscars, the movies with the most obvious prosthetics and elaborate wigs often prevail. Recent champs like “Suicide Squad” (2016), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and “Star Trek” (2009) fit that bill to a tee. However, there’s another genre of films that the Oscars occasionally rally around in this category: biopics. Whether it’s “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013) or “The Iron Lady” (2011), Oscar voters love it when famous people are made to look like other famous people. Might “Darkest Hour,” which transforms Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill, be the next film to follow this trend?
In “Darkest Hour,” Oldman is virtually unrecognizable as the famed British Prime Minister. Directed by Joe Wright, this true-to-life film is set in the first months of his tenure PM, when he must decide between a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany or a prolonged war. As Oldman told Gold Derby in our recent red carpet interview, “The only roadblock was the physical likeness. But we found a great guy — we found Kazuhiro Tsuji — and we thought, if we could pull that off, then we’re there.”
Recent examples of Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar winners that transformed A-list movie stars into iconic figures include: Matthew McConaughey as AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club,” Meryl Streep as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” Marion Cotillard as French singer Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose,” and Salma Hayek as Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in “Frida.”
As of this writing, the majority of our Oscar experts from major media outlets are predicting that “Darkest Hour” will win Best Makeup and Hairstyling, which translates to leading 21/20 odds. Rounding out the experts’ top picks are “The Shape of Water” in second place with 7/2 odds, “Beauty in the Beast” in third at 15/2 odds, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in fourth at 14/1 odds and “The Greatest Showman” in fifth at 40/1 odds.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.