Congratulations Are in Order



The Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Costume were announced this morning and several of the lucky winners will soon be clearing space off the mantel. And yes, above is Vivien Leigh finding a spot for her Oscar for Gone With the Wind (1939).

And the nominees are...

Best Costume

The King's Speech:  Jenny Beavan, Costume Designer


This nomination was totally expected as the costumes are impeccable, well designed and researched and most importantly, not distracting. Of special note were the King's bespoke suits and the Queen Mum's hats. (I am also hoping vintage fur was used). This is not Beavan's first time at bat as she brought home the gold for A Room With a View.

True Grit:   Mary Zophres, Costume Designer



The perfect costume can immediately help an actor get into character and Zophres's designs for Rooster Cogburn's overcoat, Lucky Ned's wooly angora chaps  and La Boeuf's buckskin were as realistic as possible.  As Jeff Bridges notes, "You didn't have to do much acting to feel as if you were in those times."

The Tempest:  Sandy Powell, Costume Designer



Powell's  courtly attire gives a lush feel to the Julie Taymor's adapation of the Shakespearean play. Powell won her third Oscar last year for her period designs for The Young Victoria (prior awards include Shakespeare in Love and The Aviator).


Alice in Wonderland: Colleen Atwood, Costume Designer



Actors Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Helena Bonham Carter (Red Queen) and Anne Hathaway (White Queen) were almost unrecognizable as they were transformed into characters of the beloved Lewis Carroll classic.  Colleen Atwood wanted a more authentic look with Elizabethan and Victorian references in the costumes.

I Am Love: Antonnella Cannarozzi, Costume Designer


Cannarozzi collaborated with Jil Sander and Fendi for sheer perfection. The tailor made suits, Swinton's tangerine sheaths, Berenson in mink cape and Hermes were very fitting for this period drama of a wealthy Milanese family at the turn of the century.



Best Art Direction

The King's Speech: Eve Stewart, Production Designer and Judy Farr, Set Decorator




The Academy loves a period film and this nomination is certainly well deserved. Stewart had the
difficult  task of designing the world of the royals and commoners on a budget. From Logue's shabby/chic artist's studio to the stately rooms of Buckingham and Balmoral Palaces, Stewart and
have created some of the most memorable interiors of the year.


Alice in Wonderland:  Robert Stromberg, Production Designer and Karen O'Hara, Set Decorator




The Academy also tends to award fantasy films and this year proved to be one of the most fruitful with director Tim Burton's Alice and Wonderland leading the pack. Designed by Robert Stromberg (who won for last year's highly inventive designs for Avatar), the effects are pure "Burtonesque", alot of colorful digital eye candy as seen in Wonderland the Underland (think beneath the rabbit hole).

Inception: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Production Designer and Larry Dias and Doug Mowat, Set Decorator


Is it a dream or is it reality? That was the challenge Dyas faced in designing the sets for Inception who literally conceived the plans on the walls of director Christopher Nolan's garage. From the dream city built by Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) in his own mind to the Japanese castle, 20th century architecture played a major role.

True Grit:  Jess Gonchor, Production Designer and Nancy Haigh, Set Decorator

No swinging saloon doors here, Gonchor and   meticulously designed a post Civil War town (Granger, Texas became Fort Smith, Arkansas) to represent "America on the uprise" which meant brick buildings with awnings and balconies.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part One,  Stuart Craig, Production Designer and Stephanie McMillen, Set Decorator



The ceremony will be telecast on Sunday, February 27th. Good luck to all!

Photo Credits: The Weinstein Company, Magnolia Pictures, Miramax, Walt Disney, Paramount, Fox Searchlight, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures