Oscar Handicap 2018: Best Costume Design

FilmJerk.com continues its annual Oscar Handicap with yet another new (to us) category we’re tracking, Best Costume Design.

“Costumes are the first impression that you have of the character before they open their mouth. It really does establish who they are.”

“The thing that’s great about being a costume designer is you never know what’s going to be next; you never what world you are going to enter.”

“One of the challenges with period costumes is, on a technical level, making the scale of different periods work on contemporary bodies. We’re much bigger than what people were in older times.”

Since I’m not that much of a fashion guy, and I don’t have a whole lot of thoughts about costume design, I offer up these quotes from four-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood. She most recently won last year for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Here’s a fun little tidbit about costume design I once noticed, and have been waiting to use… if Colleen Atwood and Sandy Powell are both nominated the same year for Best Costume Design, one of them will win. You can look it up. It’s happened six times in Academy history.

Here’s another fun little tidbit about Atwood and Powell. Sandy Powell has won three Oscars for Costume Design. Each time, she beat Colleen Atwood. She’s never won if Colleen Atwood was not nominated at the same time. Before last year, Atwood had never won without beating Sandy Powell.

Talk about a rivalry!

But enough of my yapping, let’s get on to the numbers…

The Breakdowns

1) If your costume designs were also nominated for a BAFTA Award, you’ve won here 36 of the past 39 years (92.3%). Advantage: Darkest Hour, The Shape of Water
2) If your film is also nominated for Best Production Design, you’ve won here 33 of 39 (84.6%). Advantage: Beauty and the Beast, Darkest Hour, The Shape of Water
3) If your designs were also nominated in the Period and Fantasy Films category for the Costume Designers Guild awards, you’ve won here 15 of the 18 years the CDG has been giving awards (83.3%). Advantage:  Beauty and the Beast, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water
4) If the primary setting of the film is outside the United States, you’ve won here 31 of 39 (79.5%). Advantage: Beauty and the Beast, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, Victoria and Abdul
5) If you’ve nominated at least once previously in this category, you’ve won 27 of 39 (69.2%). Advantage: Beauty and the Beast, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, Victoria and Abdul
6) If your film is also nominated for Best Cinematography, you’ve won here 21 of 39 (53.8%). Advantage: Darkest Hour, The Shape of Water
7) If your film is also nominated for Best Picture, you’ve won here 20 of 39 (51.3%). Advantage: Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water

By the Numbers…

One might think that a movie about a fashion designer would have the best chances of winning Best Costume Design, but the numbers give the advantage to another movie set in Great Britian during the middle part of the 20th Century.

Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran): -1, +2, +3, +4, +5, -6, -7 (146 of 252, 57.94%)
Darkest Hour (Jacqueline Durran): +1, +2, -3, +4, +5, +6, +7 (171 of 252, 67.86%)
Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges): -1, -2, +3, +4, +5, -6, +7 (120 of 252, 47.62%)
The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira): +1, +2, +3, -4, -5, +6, +7 (145 of 252, 57.54%)
Victoria and Abdul (Consolata Boyle): -1, -2, -3, +4, +5, -6, -7 (107 of 252, 42.46%)

Thank you for taking the time to check us out.

All articles in this series:

Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
Best Production Design
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Editing
Best Costume Design
Best Score
Best Sound Effects and Best Sound Mixing
Best Documentary Feature
Best Visual Effects

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