Final 2021 Oscar Predictions: Visual Effects, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling | Awards Insights
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Final 2021 Oscar Predictions: Visual Effects, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling

Oscar Shortlists for 9 Categories Released

Final 2021 Oscar Predictions: Visual Effects, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling


The last 10 winners in this category (1917, First Man, Blade Runner 2049, The Jungle Book, Ex Machina, Interstellar, Gravity, Life of Pi, Hugo, Inception) have a few things in common. First, they were all nominated in categories other than Visual Effects in addition to their Visual Effects nominations (except for The Jungle Book but that film won BAFTA, VES, and the CCA so it was the definite frontrunner coming in). Only Tenet and Mulan can boast the same this year. All of these films are also critically-acclaimed and are widely-acknowledged to be in the top 30 films of their year. Only Tenet can claim the same as none of its competitors have a Metascore above 60 (except Mulan but its reputation is greatly tarnished after the widespread backlash to the film).

With that said, the VES award for best Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature is one of the best predictors when it comes to this award and The Midnight Sky triumphed over Tenet there. Still, based on the facts above I am going to go with Tenet here.


Tenet – CCA, BAFTA

The Midnight Sky – VES

The One and Only Ivan – VES


Love and Monsters

Pick: Tenet


2020 – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – CCA, ADG

2019 – Black Panther – CCA, ADG

2018 – The Shape of Water – BAFTA, CCA, ADG

2017 – La La Land – CCA, ADG

2016 – Mad Max: Fury Road – BAFTA, CCA, ADG

2015 – The Grand Budapest Hotel – BAFTA, CCA, ADG

In the past six years, every winner in this category has won both an ADG award and a CCA award and Mank should continue that trend. With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s win last year we know that this category loves to reward nostalgia and Mank is a great source of that with its immaculately-crafted and period-specific sets that give the audience a window into Old Hollywood. I don’t really see how anything can win since Mank has swept all the major precursors.


Mank – CCA, BAFTA, ADG (Period), SDSA

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

News of the World

Tenet – ADG (Fantasy)

The Father

Pick: Mank


2020 – Bombshell – BAFTA, CCA, MUAH

2019 – Vice – CCA, MUAH

2018 – Darkest Hour – BAFTA, CCA, MUAH

2017 – Suicide Squad – MUAH

2016 – Mad Max: Fury Road – BAFTA, CCA, MUAH

2015 – The Grand Budapest Hotel – BAFTA, MUAH

Among the past six winners in this category, every single one has won a Makeup and Hairstyling Guild (MUAH) award. The two films that have one this year are Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Pinocchio. Suicide Squad is the only film in the past six years that has won with just MUAH but the other two precursors, BAFTA and CCA, were taken by Florence Foster Jenkins and Jackie respectively so Suicide Squad was not against a film that had swept the precursors. Therefore, I don’t think Pinocchio has enough to pull this off and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom should add this category to its total.


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – CCA, BAFTA, MUAH

Pinocchio – MUAH

Hillbilly Elegy



Pick: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom