This category loves dramatic transformations, so it’s no surprise that the teams behind “The Whale” and “The Batman”were recognized. A mix of returning nominees and newcomers, this year’s group includes the artists who styled a second comic book-based world (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and those who recreated the King (“Elvis”) and an army of desperate, starving soldiers (“All Quiet on the Western Front”).
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Heike Merker, Linda Eisenhamerová
Merker and Eisenhamerová conveyed the devastation of World War I by covering soldiers’ faces with filth and gore. As Steve Pond noted in his review, “The faces of these boys are scary portraits in blood and mud, with … white eyes so bright they seem to be targets.”
Naomi Donne, Mike Marino, Mike Fontaine
Much was made of the transformation of Robert Pattinson into a scraggly “emo Batman” based on Kurt Cobain, but it’s Mike Marino’s prosthetics on an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as a pockmarked Penguin that are the real showstopper. “At the makeup test, when we put it all on, Colin was like, ‘Ohhh, now I know who this guy is,’” Marino said.
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
Camille Friend, Joel Harlow
Friend was inspired by the West African tradition of cutting hair in periods of mourning, so she designed Shuri and Queen Ramonda’s tresses to look like they were growing in after the death of T’Challa. For the Talokans, new rivals whose culture is based on Mesoamerican civilizations, Friend consulted with a professor of Mayan studies. “No matter what,” she said, “I want audiences who identify with these cultures to feel the joy and be happy and proud.”
Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, Aldo Signoretti
Prosthetics turned Tom Hanks into Elvis’ toad-like manager and helped define the King as he ages. Then there was the hair. “When we would set a scene, my final line would be, ‘The hair has spoken,’” Luhrmann said. “At the end of the shoot, I had caps printed that on the back said, The hair has spoken. That’s how crucial it was.”
Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, Annemarie Bradley
Adrien Morot pulled off the technological feat of using 3D printing to create a highly detailed suit that did not restrict Brendan Fraser’s ability to express emotion. As TheWrap’s Ben Croll noted in his review, to navigate a range of feeling “immobile and covered in prosthetics is no easy task, but the actor needs only his eyes and voice to get the job done.”
For the last five years in a row, this award has gone to makeup artists who turned actors into real people, from Winston Churchill to Tammy Faye Bakker. This year, does that mean the “Elvis” team wins? It might, but that film is up against two formidable transformations, those of Colin Farrell in “The Batman” and especially Brendan Fraser in “The Whale.”