2022 Oscar Predictions: Best Costume Design

If you want to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design, it’s best to pick a project for which you can create frilly dresses from a bygone era. Since its introduction at the 1948 Academy Awards, this category has favored period pictures, including last year’s winner “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Voters love to reward the creative forces behind such films, especially those that are about the aristocracy including recent champs “Marie Antoinette” (2007), “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2008), “The Duchess” (2009), “The Young Victoria” (2010), and “Anna Karenina” (2013). (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2022 Oscars predictions for Best Costume Design.)

By the way, none of those films even competed for Best Picture. Indeed, only 20 of the most recent 72 Best Picture champs also won this award. Among these was “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2004). Fantasy films such as this often boast Oscar-winning costumes, including 2019 winner “Black Panther,” and recent champs “Alice in Wonderland” (2011),  “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2016) and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2017).

Recreating the various looks of the early 20th century has also proven an effective way to win as evidenced by “The Aviator” (2005), “The Artist” (2012), and “The Great Gatsby” (2014). Voters are also delighted to travel to exotic locales as with “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2006) and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2015).

The one era that does not have costumes that usually appeal to academy members is the modern-day. You have to go all the way back to “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (1995) to find a film set in the present day that won for its costumes, and that one benefited from being about drag queens.

UPDATED: January 24, 2022

Please note: To read full descriptions of each film, check out our 2022 Oscar Best Picture predictions.

Leading Contenders (ranked by likelihood of winning)

“Cruella”: Jenny Beavan
“Dune”: Jacqueline West
“House of Gucci”:  Janty Yates
“West Side Story”: Paul Tazewell
“Spencer”: Jacqueline Durran
“Nightmare Alley”: Luis Sequeira

Strong Contenders (alphabetical by title)
“Belfast”: Charlotte Walter
“Being the Ricardos”: Susan Lyall
“Cyrano”: Massimo Cantini Parrini
“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain”: Michael O’Connor
“The French Dispatch”: Milena Canonero
“Last Night in Soho”: Odile Dicks-Mireaux
“Licorice Pizza”: Mark Bridges

Possible Contenders (alphabetical by title)
“Coming 2 America”: Ruth E. Carter
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”: Mitchell Travers
“The Last Duel”: Janty Yates
“The Power of the Dog”: Kirsty Cameron
“Respect”: Clint Ramos
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”: Mary Zophres
“Passing” Netflix Marci Rodgers

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