This article contains IndieWire’s preliminary Best Makeup and Hairstyling predictions for the 2023 Oscars, originally published January 11, 2023. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season, and republish previous versions (like this one) for readers to track changes in how the Oscar race has changed. For the latest update on the frontrunners for the 95th Academy Awards, see our 2023 Oscars predictions hub.
Final voting Oscar voting is March 2-7, 2023. The 95th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2023 Oscar picks.
Shortlisted makeup/hairstylist contenders “Elvis,” “The Batman,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Foerever,” “Blonde,” “Babylon,” “Amsterdam,” and “The Whale” all received an Oscar boost with nominations January 11 for the 10th MUAHS Guild Awards (to be held February 11 at the Beverly Hilton).The other shortlisted entries, “Emancipation,” “Crimes of the Future,” and the German-language, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” were not recognized. The final five nominees will be determined at the January 15 “bake-off.”
“Elvis” and “The Batman” each scored three nominations apiece, with the Baz Luhrmann biopic taking period makeup and hairstyling and special makeup effects, and Matt Reeves’ noirish DC reboot nabbing contemporary makeup, hairstyling, and special makeup effects.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was recognized for special makeup effects and contemporary hairstyling; “Blonde,” “Babylon,” and “Amsterdam” were singled out for period makeup and hairstyling; and “The Whale” found its place in special makeup effects.
Among the non-Oscar contenders, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” distinguished itself in contemporary makeup and hairstyling, “Nope” and “The Menu” were nominated for contemporary make-up and hairstyling, and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” and “The Woman King found spots in contemporary and period hairstyling, respectively.
In terms of the Oscar race, this enhances the frontrunning status of “Elvis,” “The Batman,” “Wakanda Forever,” and “The Whale.” If “Elvis” has an edge, it’s because of Best Actor frontrunner Austin Butler, who was transformed into the King of rock in a slight progression from the ’50s through the ’70s, led by Shane Thomas (hair and makeup designer), two-time Oscar winner Mark Coulier (prosthetics designer), and Jason Baird (prosthetics supervisor).
However, the most unrecognizable work can be found in “The Batman,” courtesy of prosthetic makeup artist Michael Marino, who provided a total transformation for Colin Farrell as low-level gangster Oz/Penguin, without being inhibited at all in delivering his funny, volatile performance.
The most innovative work of the season, though, occurred in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” where Brendan Fraser is transformed into 600-pound English teacher Charlie through the first-time use of all-digital prosthetic makeup for a major feature, pioneered by prosthetic makeup designer Adrien Morot. This pushed Fraser’s weight to the severest extreme without covering his face and obfuscating his emotional range of expression.
The fifth slot could likely go to Edward Berger’s harrowing “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Andrew Dominik’s underappreciated “Blonde,” or David Cronenberg’s creepy “Crimes of the Future.” In the World War I remake, makeup and hair designer Heike Merker immersed herself in the fine details of applying mud and blood to protagonist Paul (Felix Kammerer) and his fellow soldiers on the rain-soaked battlefield. In “Blonde,” the transformation of Cuban-born Spanish actress de Armas into Marilyn Monroe (in both color and black-and-white) was achieved by makeup artist Tina Roesler Kerwin and hair lead Jaime Leigh McIntosh with careful iconic strokes involving the right blonde wigs, and makeup applications for her personal and professional lives. And in the body horror thriller, prosthetics co-designers Alexandra Anger and Monica Pavez created the memorable underground performance artist known as the Ear Man (Tassos Karahalios) with nearly 40 ears and other assorted body parts.
“The Whale” (A24)
“Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
“The Batman” (Warner Bros.)
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Marvel/Disney)
“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
“Crimes of the Future” (Neon)
“Amsterdam” (20th Century)
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