1. Albert Wolsky Across the Universe
The man- it needs to be said- is 78 years old. He's been nominated five times, winning for Bugsy and All that Jazz. He's already received a lifetime achievement award from the Costume Designer's Guild. The man clearly knows what he's doing. Of course this nom was kind of a puzzler. (Mayhaps it's more of an Oscar nod to the guy for his entire body of work, as they sometimes do before they might retire.) Or maybe they didn't want to nominate exclusively period films, although the film does cover a stretch of decades. Though I will say that it deserves it, because that's really a tough feat to do: to cover periods and keep the color scheme consistent, the characters arc translatable throughout the story of their life and simply the job of outfitting several hundred people in different periods. I think this was more of an art direction piece though.
2. Marit Allen La Vie en Rose
Sadly, I just found out that Marit Allen passed away a couple of months ago back in November at the age of 66. She also designed this year's Love in the Time of Cholera, which I think was nominatable (even if the movie itself kinda sucked), and last year's Brokeback Mountain. This is her first Oscar Nom. I haven't seen this movie so I have very little to offer that isn't purely based on random pictures. But overall the palette looks nice, and it seems to have the right compromise of texture and polish.
3. Alexandra Byrne Elizabeth: The Golden Age
I mean really- what could I possibly say about Alexandra Byrne and this movie that I haven't said already? It's stunning. I'm pretty much assuming that this is the clear winner. The only big competitor this has is....
4. Jacqueline Durran Atonement
The costumes in this movie are beautiful, and I think they're done really well, they're actually really well designed and subtle at the same time, but we all know how much excitement this dress has garnered. Even going so far as to nab Time Magazine's reader survey for the best costume of all time (annoyingly.) Sometimes the Academy loves to give out those statues based on popularity alone, hoping that has some indication to it's staying power, so for that reason I think this is a major contender. And it's great. But even greater still....
5. Colleen Atwood Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Colleen! My favorite designer of all time. At this point I think she's everybody's favorite designer of all time. I mean, as much as I love her I'm really surprised how many people are in love with the designs of this movie. I'm really surprised it's gotten as much attention as it has. Of course it IS a Burton film, and all us Burton-ites are visual kids. She secretly has my vote, just because I'd love to picture her in her house with a line of statuettes across her mantle, sitting under them prettily in her pretty lady way. It would also be great if she could win one for a Burton film finally, since the Burton-Atwood collaboration is pretty much one of the best collaborative relationships in Hollywood History. (Both her previous wins were Rob Marshall films: Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha.) She should also receive a lifetime achievment award in a couple of decades... from everyone that has one to give.
Okay, okay, I love Colleen and all, but I think its between Atonement and Elizabeth. We'll have to wait and see. Or "hear" if the writer's are still on strike. Geez. You'd think they'd all figure it out already.