Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Oscars 2012: Best Makeup

Note: This is my personal ranking, listed in order from best to worst, with #1 being my favorite. Prediction for the actual winner is in orange.

BEST MAKEUP

1. THE IRON LADY

2. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2

3. ALBERT NOBBS

Matthew W. Mungle has done prosthetics and special makeup effects for over a hundred films including Schindler’s List, Collateral and Dracula, the latter of which is the only one that’s earned him an Oscar. Unfortunately, Mungle won’t add another trophy to his mantle for Albert Nobbs, for which he managed to turn Glenn Close and Janet McTeer into men that looked like, well, Glenn Close and Janet McTeer. While it was no J. Edgar (dear lord, that old-age makeup was terrible), it wasn’t The Iron Lady either.

Mark Coulier’s prosthetics and J. Roy Helland’s hair and makeup transformed Meryl Streep into The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, so much so that when I saw the film well before the nominees were announced, I made a point to note who was responsible for the remarkable work. The Academy seems to be just as impressed, and I would be surprised if these two men walked away empty-handed come February 26th.

If anyone ruins it for Maggie Thatcher, it’ll be the boy-wizard himself, Harry Potter. None of the films in the series has ever been nominated for makeup, which is baffling when all you have to do is look at Ralph Fiennes as the creeptastic Voldemort to be utterly amazed by the work of  Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng. (Also, while he’s not nominated for his prosthetic work here, Mark Coulier also worked on this film.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has major spoiler potential for this category.

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