PGCMAs: Best Art Direction, Make-Up, and Costume Design (2015)

Posted: February 2, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Uncategorized

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Art Direction

Bridge of Spies: Period pieces usually do well in this category and Spielberg’s cold war drama really excels in art direction. From the buildings, to the interiors, to the vehicles, everything feels period authentic and lived in. The film has the added challenge of having to recreate late 50s America and early 60s East Berlin.

Crimson Peak: If nothing else, Crimson Peak should be remembered for creating one of the best haunted houses in recent memory. This doesn’t go for the standard old dark house with cob webs and creaky steps, but descends into more colourful areas, with walls which bleed rust in a giant hole in the ceiling for gentle snowfall.

Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller did not just fill the screen with vehicles, but created unique designs for each, with highlights including the war rig, Immortan Joe’s personal car, and the music vehicle complete with drums and amps throughout. On top of that, Joe’s city, the Citadel is an interesting location with some awesome visuals.

The Martian: Ridley Scott has historically set a high bar for production and while The Martian may not have anything that rivals the Nostromo or L.A. in 2019, there is, none the less, a lot to admire here. The space ships and stations all have a not-too distant future look wherein they look slick, but not unattainable.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Perhaps the greatest thrill of The Force Awakens was simply returning to the world of Star Wars and this was largely accomplished through some stellar art direction. There are tons of great sets and props which feel like a natural extension of what the original trilogy created.

And the winner is…

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Mad Max: Fury Road

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No film relied so heavily on its art direction than Mad Max: Fury Road. This is a film built almost entirely on visual storytelling, so it’s a good thing the art direction is up to snuff. The designs here are wonderfully creative and one could spend hours simply looking at the art on display.

Best Hair and Make-Up

Mad Max: Fury Road: Movies in the apocalypse, even good ones, often make the mistake of making their characters look too good. Miller does not make that mistake. The residents of these future look disease and ravaged, while the work for characters like Immortan Joe and the War Boys really pops.

The Martian: Towards the end of Watney’s stay on Mars, he begins to run out of supplies and his body begins to be impoverished. The film does not dwell on this excessively, but the make-up used to give Matt Damon this look is well-realized.

The Revenant: The work to make DiCaprio look like he was mauled by a bear (particularly on his back) is impressive enough, but the cherry on top is Tom Hardy’s weird half scalped head.

Room: The make-up work that usually gets nominated for awards is the obvious stuff, but what I like about Room is how the make-up artists subtly made Brie Larsen and Jacob Tremblay look slightly undernourished.

Steve Jobs: The make-up team for Steve Jobs wisely avoided trying to make Michael Fassbender look more like the real dude and instead work on subtlety ageing the man and they do a very effective job.

And the winner is…

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Mad Max: Fury Road

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I try to avoid going for the obvious most = best for categories like this, but I can’t help but be won over by the make-up work in Fury Road. From the obvious make-up effects to the more subtle, it all works wonders here and leads to the creation of some pretty memorable character designs.

Best Costume Design

Bridge of Spies: There were a few period pieces I considered for nominations, but Bridge of Spies ultimately won out. The costumes feel detailed and lend authenticity to the setting.

Crimson Peak: Part of what excited me about Crimson Peak was that it was returning high production to horror filmmaking. This is reflected in the costumes, which are extravagant and beautiful with great colours.

The Hateful Eight: Tarantino’s films are more about capturing cinema than realistic history and this is reflected in the costumes. I don’t know if anyone really dressed like this during the post-civil war years in Wyoming, but I love the colourful wardrobes displayed.

Mad Max: Fury Road: It’s amazing how George Miller has consistently made his apocalyptic vision interesting. If you like at the earlier films in the series, the costumes have a certain flair, but they also feel somewhat restrained. Fury Road on the other hand fully commits to the outlandish and bizarre and the result is quite a spectacle.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams and Disney made a smart decision when they opted to go for conventional costumes rather than relying solely on CGI to create alien creatures. The results are quite charming and show that the old methods still work in modern movie magic.

And the winner is…

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Crimson Peak

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At its core, Crimson Peak is a 19th century Gothic romance; a genre which lends itself to beautiful costumes. Guillermo del Toro takes these elements and runs with it, creating some lavish clothing and vibrant colours.

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