Final 2024 Oscar Predictions: Visual Effects, Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling | Awards Insights
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Final 2024 Oscar Predictions: Visual Effects, Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling

Final 2024 Oscar Predictions: Visual Effects, Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling


The last 10 winners in this category (Avatar: The Way of Water, Dune, Tenet, 1917, First Man, Blade Runner 2049, The Jungle Book, Ex Machina, Interstellar, Gravity) have a few things in common. First, they were all nominated in either an above-the-line category or Production Design (except for The Jungle Book but that film won BAFTA, VES, and the CCA so it was the definite frontrunner coming in). They also are all generally critically-acclaimed (all boasting scores 69 and above on Metacritic). Additionally, they are not sequels (Blade Runner 2049 and Avatar: The Way of Water are the only exceptions, yet the Oscars clearly see the Blade Runner and Avatar films as more “elevated” than something like Marvel or Star Wars). They also are all films that were either big box office hits or critically-acclaimed (the exception being Tenet, but that was released during COVID and directed by Christopher Nolan so it had an excuse for its lack of box office success and was seen as “elevated”).

Of the nominees here, The Creator, Napoleon, and ‘Mission Impossible’ have been nominated in categories outside of Visual Effects. Napoleon and Mission Impossible, however, rely more on practical effects and the Academy isn’t as much of a fan of those effects in this category as they are of CG effects. With this in mind, The Creator should take this but Godzilla Minus One fits all the other requirements. It’s by far the most critically-acclaimed film of the bunch and also has the most love of any of the films here. Even though it’s part of a franchise, the Japanese Godzilla franchise is seen as “elevated” while the American one is not seen as such (as evidenced by the fact that “Minus One” is the first Godzilla film to be nominated here). While “The Creator” might get votes from the old guard and the specifically the Visual Effects branch, I think Godzilla Minus One has much more across the board support and should be able to take this.


Godzilla Minus One

The Creator – VES (5x)


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – VES (2x)

Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One

Pick: Godzilla Minus One



2023 – All Quiet on the Western Front

2022 – Dune – CCA, BAFTA, ADG

2021 – Mank – CCA, BAFTA, ADG

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

Every winner in this category in the last eight years has been a top-7 Best Picture contender. That’s not too helpful of a stat since every nominee here outside of Napoleon is a top-7 Best Picture contender. To me, ADG is the most important precursors here (All Quiet on the Western Front got a nomination there, something it didn’t get at the CCA). Poor Things and Oppenheimer’s wins in their respective categories at ADG is significant especially since Poor Things won over Barbie there. Some might say that Barbie will have more Academy support and Poor Things only won at BAFTA because it’s British and at ADG because while Poor Things’ production design is more appealing to production designers themselves. However, Poor Things, along with Oppenheimer and Anatomy of a Fall is the only other film that received nominations in Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Editing. With 11 nominations, it likely has more love with the Academy, especially after the snubs of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig in their respective categories. While the outrage that came about after their snubs might influence Academy members to be more rewarding towards Barbie, that outrage had no effect on the film’s success at ADG, SAG, BAFTA, etc. As a result, I’m gonna go with Poor Things here.


Poor Things – ADG, BAFTA, SDSA

Barbie – CCA, SDSA

Oppenheimer – ADG

Killers of the Flower Moon


Pick: Poor Things



2023 – The Whale – MUAH

2022 – The Eyes of Tammy Faye – BAFTA, CCA

2021 – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – BAFTA, CCA, MUAH

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

The last six winners in this category went to films showcasing famous actors visibly transforming into their characters partly through a good deal of makeup and hairstyling. Usually, films need a Makeup and Hairstyling Guild award (MUAH) to take this award but that’s not always the case, The Eyes of Tammy Faye won here without it two years ago. This year, Maestro and Poor Things are the biggest contenders, Maestro has MUAH wins and Poor Things won at BAFTA. Maestro is the front runner and has been for months but it would be a very controversial winner. Since the very first pictures of Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein were released online, the film was accused of “Jewface”, when non-Jewish performers adopt stereotypical and exaggerated features harmful to Jewish people in their performances of Jewish characters. The makeup surrounding Cooper’s nose has been targeted as the main culprit and while there has been little talk of this controversy since December, I think enough Academy members are in the know enough to understand the ramifications of them rewarding Maestro in this category. Poor Things won at BAFTA and has some phenomenal makeup and hairstyling work. While too many people in the Academy are just not conscious enough to recognize things like Jewface, I think that they’ll be aware enough to not reward Maestro here. At least I hope so.


Poor Things – BAFTA

Maestro – MUAH (2x)



Society of the Snow

Pick: Poor Things