Many of the technical categories at the Academy Awards have several rounds of voting before the final nominees are determined. One of these so-called "bake-offs" takes place in the newly named Makeup and Hairstyling race.
On Saturday, the academy announced the seven films still in contention for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Members of the branch will gather at the academy on Jan. 5 to screen 10-minute segments from these semi-finalists and vote for their top three. These will be the nominees revealed, along with the other competitive categories, on Jan. 10.
The winner has typically been the film with the most extensive prosthetic makeup, usually to create creatures for sci-fi and fantasy films ("The Wolfman," "Pan's Labyrinth," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"), or to age and transform actors in biopics ("La Vie en Rose," "Frida"). Last year's winner was the biopic "The Iron Lady," which used makeup to turn Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher, past and present.
Two of Peter Jackson's films in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy -- "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "Return of the King" -- won this award. Not surprisingly, the first film in "The Hobbit" series, "An Unexpected Journey," is contending this year.
Also in the running are "Lincoln," which sees the transformation of Daniel Day-Lewis into America's 16th president and "Les Miserables," which does the seemingly impossible and makes Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman unattractive.
The most noticeable snub was "Cloud Atlas," which saw the likes of Tom Hanks and Halle Berry playing six very different characters of varying ages and ethnicities.
The seven films in contention for three slots are: