Though it’s Luca Guadagnino‘s followup to his Best Picture-nominated “Call Me by Your Name” from just last year, “Suspiria” isn’t what anyone would describe as conventional awards bait. Based on the 1977 classic by Dario Argento, it’s a disturbing supernatural horror film. But regardless of how well it performs in marquee categories it could be a top contender for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for transforming Tilda Swinton. It would actually be the fourth film to win that award for transforming Swinton.
The actress played the White Witch in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (2005), which won for its work on her villainous character and for making a faun out of James McAvoy. She also co-starred in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008), though that film’s Best Makeup win had more to do with turning Brad Pitt into a man aging backwards from elderly baby to baby elder. And in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014), the winning makeup artists aged her into an elderly woman who romances Ralph Fiennes.
“Suspiria” takes her to new levels. Swinton actually plays three roles, only one of which looks anything like her. She portrays choreographer Madame Blanc, who leads a mysterious dance company. She also plays the demonic Mother Markos and elderly male psychiatrist Dr. Josef Klemperer. The film credits the Dr. Klemperer role to an actor named Lutz Ebersdorf, but Swinton eventually let the cat out of the bag to the New York Times that that’s her too.
The academy loves versatile actors, and Swinton is already an Oscar winner, so perhaps her triple play will finally earn her her first nomination since claiming Best Supporting Actress for “Michael Clayton” 11 years ago. And horror films may not have the awards stigma they used to: “Get Out” was nominated for Best Picture last year, and 2018 horror flicks “A Quiet Place” and “Hereditary” have been among the most critically acclaimed movies of the year in any genre.
But even if academy members at large aren’t feeling that adventurous in top categories, the makeup artist and hairstylists branch may not be able to overlook chief makeup artist Fernanda Perez‘s work on this film. She has worked on all of Guadagnino’s previous features including “I Am Love” (2009) and “A Bigger Splash” (2015), both of which starred Swinton. Perez was previously nominated at Italy’s David di Donatello Awards for her work on “The Girl by the Lake” (2017). Now she could make a bigger splash at the Oscars.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.