As we head towards January 5th, when Oscar ballots are sent out to Academy members, the various branches are currently busy narrowing down the choices in a select few categories. The Visual Effects branch has whittled its list of contenders down to 10 films that will compete in a bake-off, out of which the final nominees will arise. And now the Makeup & Hairstyling branch has narrowed its own list of contenders down to a shortlist of seven movies. Business as usual, right?
Well, not exactly. In our first major snub of the season, for some insane reason The Shape of Water has been left off this shortlist, despite featuring a tremendously designed creature as one of its lead characters. This makes no sense, and I have to assume there’s some weird politics going on with the nominating committee—this feels personal. Especially when you look at the list of contenders that did make the shortlist:
Ghost in the Shell
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Victoria & Abdul
Bright? Really? I mean I know Suicide Squad won this Oscar previously, but we’re gonna go with that uninteresting ogre makeup over Guillermo del Toro’s Fish Man?
It’s pretty ridiculous, and I really do hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come, in which del Toro’s critically acclaimed fairy tale gets sidelined at the Oscars for being too “genre.” It’s one of the best films of the year, period, and deserves a whole lot of love. I still think it could be one of the films with the most nominations overall, but this is a very shocking bump in the road.
Moreover, Shape wasn’t the only odd snub in this category—IT was also left off this final shortlist. Again, really? I like Kurt Russell’s hair in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as much as the next guy, but this is silly.
Okay, rant over. Catch up with all of my Oscar predictions right here and look for Darkest Hour to take this category easily on Oscar night for literally transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill.