In a surprising development, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water has been snubbed from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s shortlist for the Best Makeup Oscar. With final nominations fast approaching, del Toro’s latest should strongly contend at the 90th Academy Awards. The acclaimed film thrillingly delivers the director’s familiar blend of striking visuals, exciting fantasy, and compelling romance.
The plot of The Shape of Water centers around a lonely, mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who befriends and ultimately falls in love with a mysterious amphibian man played by Doug Jones. The final look for the sea creature proved as stunning as any creation born from del Toro’s distinctive vision. But as far as AMPAS is concerned, in the makeup and hairstyling department, The Shape of Water falls short.
The Academy released on Wednesday the shortlist for the Best Makeup & Hairstyling Oscar, which will be awarded at the March 4 ceremony in Los Angeles – and The Shape of Water did not make the cut. It’s especially surprising considering that del Toro’s extraordinary Pan’s Labyrinth wasn’t just nominated but won the Oscar for Best Makeup, and 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army was also nominated. However, some of the selected films should come as no surprise, like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s extensive creature effects and Darkest Hour‘s incredible transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill. Here’s the full shortlist of nominees:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Victoria & Abdul
The Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will now view 10-minute excerpts of each film chosen to narrow the nominees down to three, according to Deadline. But not all hope is lost for The Shape of Water’s makeup department; it received a nomination as part of its leading total at the Critics’ Choice awards. The movie is already on the Academy’s shortlist for Best Visual Effects and could be up for the biggest awards. Nominations look likely for Best Picture, Best Director for del Toro, and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Hawkins.
More accolades are sure to come for The Shape of Water. It’s already won several “Best Picture” awards and appeared on many year-end top-10 lists. Still, it will strike viewers as odd that the makeup and hairstyling couldn’t at least make the Oscar shortlist. The amphibian man is among the most detailed and convincing creatures to hit the big screen, making it a peculiar decision to deem films like I, Tonya and Victoria & Abdul as more impressive achievements in that department.
Ultimately, the Academy must have decided that The Shape of Water‘s amphibian man falls more under “Visual Effects” than “Makeup & Hairstyling”. It’s likely that the film will still end up with several Oscar nominations, including some technical awards. But if the crew’s work on the creature goes unnoticed at the Oscars, that would certainly be a big disappointment.
Source: AMPAS, Deadline
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