Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Oscars 2011: 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.


1. The Wolfman

2. Barney’s Version

3. The Way Back

There’s no getting around it. It doesn’t matter how terrible you think the movie was (and it was terrible), The Wolfman is gettin’ an Oscar. It’s the flashiest of the nominees — there are werewolves for crissakes — and with Rick Baker behind the wolf-tastic looks, it’s a shoe-in for the win. The man has already won little gold guys for Harry and the Hendersons and An American Werewolf in Paris, so even if you haven’t seen any of the nominees (and let’s face it — many of the voters won’t have), you know voting for the creature feature is a good call.

Which is actually kind of a shame, because the other two films both boast really solid work. The particularly impressive, subtle aging makeup  in Barney’s Version looked pretty darn realistic, unlike that in most other decades-spanning films. The ragtag group of bedouins in The Way Back physically deteriorated before our eyes: wind-torn; sun-poisoned; lips chapped; brows furrowed; bug-bitten; frost-bitten; bloody, callused skin…you feel the dehydration, starvation, and nature’s nasty effects even as the characters do in their months-long, 4,000 mile journey across the continent .

I’m going to be cheesetastic and say it: we’re all three winners here. Rick Baker is just the biggest one.

3 comments on “Oscars 2011: Best Makeup

  1. Eric
    February 11, 2011

    The best makeup jobs result in people not being able to recognize that any makeup is actually present. Was the Wolfman’s makeup that good?


  2. Julie
    February 11, 2011

    Eric, it’s difficult not to notice the makeup when it consists of hairy faces and toothy grins (as you can see in the photo I included in my post). But it doesn’t even need to be that obvious: if forty-something Paul Giamatti ages into well his 60s in a film, I am highly aware of the makeup, because I know that’s not what he actually looks like. So, honestly, I don’t think your theory really holds. If the makeup is highly relevant to the film (as it is with these three), you’re going to notice it.


  3. Aaron
    February 20, 2011

    Well I, for one, am betting on The Way Back. The reason I am betting on this movie is not because the makeup was better than the others — the makeup in Barney’s Version is really fabulous — but because the film is better. And I think that’s the way the vote will go. Not with the best makeup, but with the best film.

    Just a prediction.


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This entry was posted on February 11, 2011 by in Award Predictions, Oscar-Nominated.



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