Friday, February 22, 2008

Best Costume Design

Across the Universe* – Albert Wolsky
Atonement – Jacqueline Durran
Elizabeth: The Golden Age – Alexandra Byrne
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Colleen Atwood
La Vie en Rose – Marit Allen

Will win: Hey, a category Atonement might actually win! Nothing’s certain though. I don’t think Across the Universe poses much of a threat, since the movie was so brutally panned that I bet a significant number of voters skipped it, but everything else remains in contention. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is one of those dratted Victorian era pieces (wait, that’s probably the Elizabethan era) that always fare well at the Oscars (recent winners in Costume Design have included Topsy-Turvy, Shakespeare in Love, and Restoration). La Vie en Rose is one of those wretched biopics that’s allegedly infused with authenticity – they’re always dangerous here. And Sweeney Todd has such a great overall look that voters might translate that into a high opinion of the movie’s costumes.

But the reason I’m picking Atonement – other than that it’s depressing for me to be constantly predicting that it’s going to lose in various more important categories – is this: The dress Keira Knightley actually wore in the movie’s pivotal scene is so gorgeous, it’s being auctioned off for charity. The current bid is $7,400. So, someone is going to pay more than seven thousand dollars for a flimsy slip of material that was worn in a movie for 10 minutes. (For the record, I’m convinced a guy will win the auction. Not me – I don’t have that kind of cash.) I don’t know about you, but I think that makes it a pretty fucking awesome costume. Give it the Oscar so I can please start calling the movie, “The Academy-Award-winning Atonement”. Lovely.

(You know what? I just doused myself with a cold splash of reality. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is going to win. It’s just too sumptuous for the Academy to ignore. Please ignore the prior paragraph and consider Elizabeth: The Golden Age to be my official prediction. Now excuse me while I go throw up.)

Should win: I apologize for not yet having seen Across the Universe. The Netflix Blu-ray is literally sitting on my desk 18 inches to the right of my laptop – I just measured with a ruler. So why is it still on my desk and not in my beloved PlayStation 3? Because I honestly cannot spare the two hours it will take to watch it. We’re in crunch time right now, and every moment that isn’t spent writing the Manifesto is spent either at work, eating, or napping. I literally cannot sacrifice two hours of my life to watch Across the Universe and still get this wretched thing out on time. Just a little insight into my exciting life for you.

Anyway, as lavishly extravagant as the costumes are in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I’m obviously taking Atonement. And if you think it’s for that magnificent jade chemise (that’s what it is, right? A chemise?) that Keira Knightley wears during the library scene, you’re absolutely right. I haven’t been that in awe of a piece of clothing since I stole my sister’s Victoria’s Secret catalogue when I was 12.

Also, do you like how I’m tactfully referring to that scene as the “library scene”? Quite tasteful of me, no? I think “library scene” sounds so much more professional and classy than “sex scene” or “pivotal scene” or “wellspring of erotic arousal”. That’s just the kind of gentleman I am.

Deserving:The Golden Compass: Simply for that shimmering golden dress Nicole Kidman parades during her first few scenes. It’s beautiful, yet it’s also something like armor – it’s what an Ice Queen wears to war.

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