And the Winner Is…
February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
C’est Magnifique! Not only did The Artist win Best Picture, it won four other Gold Baldies including Best Costumes. I adore period pieces and this years nominees illustrated their incredible skill & historical knowledge of the epoch they were emulating. Although it was filmed in Black & White, the grandeur of the 20’s roared loudly in the silence of the Artist. Jean Dujardin was a dapper incarnation of Douglas Fairbanks. Whether down on his luck or charming the crowd, Dujardin was the epitome of class in his finely tailored suites. Berenice Bejo stunned as the vivacious Peppy Miller. Draped in silks, sequins, netting and fur, she shone as America’s latest sweetheart.
As much as I cheered for the Artists costume designer, Mark Bridges to win, my heart secretly hoped for Anonymous to take the statue. If you haven’t seen this controversial, yet convincing film about who Shakespeare really was, its a must see. The costumes are other worldly! The netted collars on Queen Elizabeth were enough to make me gasp. The Duke of Oxford’s finery was stitched in leather, not to mention the intricate bead, jewel and braid work that each character bandied about in. Corsets not withstanding, the boning work on the gowns must have been a study in patience; I’m am baffled, yet thoroughly impressed by the immense talent of Lisy Christl.
Other than W.E., the Wallace Simpson/King Edward love story, I wasn’t bowled over by the other nominees. The elegant silhouettes and the remarkable resemblence of Andrea Riseborough and the alleged Nazi f**ker, Simpson rightly earned its nomination. I managed to snag a number of stills and see for yourself.
As for Hugo and Jane Eyre, I just felt that the designs were either mediocre or uninspiring. Jane Eyre has been reproduced countless times; the last decent one was with Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt. Did we really need another incarnation? It was all bonnets and petticoats, which I’m sure are a nightmare to construct, but sadly a yawn once actualized. As for Hugo, the only exception was the art directing and costumes of the Trip to the Moon scene. Gotta love Marty for his meticulous attention to detail; I have no doubt in my mind that if colour film had been available to Méliès, that scene would sing with the same saturation. Whimsical & elegant, I must give Sandy Powell credit for this. An honorable mention must go to Sonia Grande for Midnight in Paris. Although not nominated, she also brought the 20’s back to life, with the City of Lights as the perfect backdrop. I drooled over every flapper gown and swooned over Hemmingway’s mustache and candor.
Enjoy the pictures while you nibble your leftover Oscar Party Food. Check out my dear friend Paula Pott’s blog, I See Hungry People for the delicious Best Picture themed dishes she whipped up for her thankful guests.