Powerhouse “Dune” (Warner Bros.) took the early lead, grabbing four out of five craft Oscars after the controversial pre-taped ceremony of eight categories (editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, and documentary, live action, and animated short) an hour before the ABC broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. They were presented by “Dune” co-stars Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa in an unprecedented move to tighten the show and boost sagging ratings, and will appear in an edited version throughout the broadcast.
Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune” won editing, production design, original score, and sound. However, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight Pictures) took makeup/hairstyling for the impressive transformation of Best Actress favorite Jessica Chastain as the infamous televangelist. This follows the recent trend of the category going to biopics that includes “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Bombshell,” “Vice,” and “Darkest Hour.” In a show of support for her MUAHS team (makeup artists Linda Dowds and Justin Raleigh and hairstylist Stephanie Ingram), Chastain was in attendance for the pre-taping.
Meanwhile, the shorts winners included director Ben Proudfoot’s documentary, “The Queen of Basketball,” about Lusia “Lucy” Harris, the only woman to be drafted by the NBA; the live-action “The Long Goodbye,” executive produced by Riz Ahmed and directed by Aneil Karia, starring Ahmed in a dystopian drama about a British South Asian family abducted from their home by vigilantes; and the U.S./Spain animated production, “The Windshield Wiper,” directed by Alberto Mielgo (the Emmy-winning “Love, Death & Robots”), about vignettes concerning the meaning of love, combining CG characters with digitally painted backgrounds, and colorful experimentation. In his pre-taped acceptance speech, Mielgo proclaimed: “Animation for adults is a fact. It’s happening. Let’s call it cinema.”
For “Dune” editor Joe Walker, who brilliantly balanced the epic with the intimate in delivering Villeneuve’s sensory power, this represents his first win after three nominations (including “Arrival” and “12 Years a Slave”).
It’s also the first win after three nominations for “Dune” production designer Patrice Vermette (including “Arrival,” “The Queen Victoria”) and the first for set decorator Zsuzsanna Sipos, whose imaginative world building was a diverse mixture of medieval, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences.
Legendary “Dune” composer Hans Zimmer (who was on tour and unable to attend) won his second Oscar since the animated “The Lion King” for his inventive score that conjured the beauty and danger of the desert planet Arrakis — from the rhythm of the wind pushing the sand between the rocks to the pounding percussion of the sandworms. Zimmer also leaned on the spiritual, driven by a choir of female voices.
For the innovative “Dune” sound team, which created an organic soundscape to evoke desert power and the ancestral female chanting inside the head of would-be messiah Paul (Timothée Chalamet), this marked the second Oscars for supervising sound editor Mark Mangini (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) and re-recording sound mixer Doug Hemphill (“The Last of the Mohicans”), and the first for supervising sound editor Theo Green and re-recording sound mixers Ron Bartlett and Mac Ruth.
“Dune,” which was nominated for eight craft Oscars — the most since “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” with nine — still has cinematography (ASC winner Greig Fraser), costume design (Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan), and visual effects (VES winner DNEG, production supervised by Paul Lambert) yet to come.