I usually really like the way the Makeup branch seems to be one of the few groups within the Academy that has a mind of its own. They are completely fine with nominating a movie that has either been a commercial flop (The Time Machine) or trashed by critics (Norbit) as long as it features impressive makeup work. In that regard, this year is no different. You might’ve never expected to hear the words Jackass and Oscar in the same sentence, but one of this year’s nominees is Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, the movie that features Johnny Knoxville disguised as a misbehaving octogenarian. Just so you know, it is not a bad movie at all, and if anything, the makeup is certainly effective.
Another questionable nominee in people’s mind is The Lone Ranger, the big commercial failure of the summer box-office. I am on the record on not finding the movie as terrible as most critics did, and while I think the old-age makeup done on Johnny Depp is pretty good, I also find his white-face crow-inspired makeup to be a little too representative of what has become so irritating about Depp as an actor these days. The final nominee, and likely winner, is Dallas Buyers Club. A nomination that, if I’m being honest, surprised me a little (I thought voters would think that most of the makeup job was done by Matthew McConaughey when he lost all that weight in order to play an AIDS patient).
It is an undoubtedly weird and unexpected list of nominees, and while I usually enjoy the crazyness of the Makeup branch, 2013 was actually a year in which some of the best makeup of the year was actually in the big Oscar players. I still get chills thinking of the scars of 12 Years a Slave, and even the detractors of American Hustle have to admit that if the movie is a big parade of celebrities playing dress-up, those hairdos make for an awesome parade.
Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club
My Vote: Bad Grandpa