The importance of costuming has been regarded by the Academy since 1948 and it is of great importance to keep a film as realistic as possible. Any film that wants to compete needs to strive for as much accuracy as they can. This years films are all period films, and while not always the case, most nominees for Costume Design take place in another time. This serves well to illustrate the talent of the costumers and how much effort is required to help the audience travel back to another time.
The nominees for Best Costume Design are:
- Beauty and the Beast – Beautiful outfits in the ensemble, as well as with the main characters. There is a lot of detailed work that went into his film and Jacqueline Durran dresses the characters very well. My only concern with this film is how well the CGI characters blend with the natural look and feel of the real costumes, but I might be over-analyzing that aspect.
- Darkest Hour – Another nomination for Jacqueline Durran, and, with her other one this year, her sixth nomination overall. The great thing about the costumes here is that there is a lot of historical context with which to compare the film and real world clothing. The detail that went into accurately recreating the character of Churchill came a lot from the costuming.
- Phantom Thread – A film about fashion in the sixties would have to be pretty terrible to not receive a nomination for costume design. Mark Bridges creates some beautiful pieces, some of which aren’t even worn, that inspire awe in the best way. This film is exactly the kind of movie that should be nominated in this category and it has the right kind of potential to win.
- The Shape of Water – This is the first nomination for Luis Sequeira, but I doubt if it will be his only one. Recreating Cold War era clothing is probably more difficult than recreating the sets or the artifacts, because style was in such flex during the era that researching and creating the right costumes for the right time of the decade was probably insanely difficult.
- Victoria & Abdul – The height of the British empire always makes for great costumes, but the unique feature of this film is in the Indian costumes that complement the British aristocracy. Consolata Boyle is a regular collaborator with Stephen Frears and their shared vision of the Victorian age and its collaboration with Muslim culture make for some truly creative designs.
My Prediction to win is…