We had one film releasing this weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.
Although his first feature film, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure wasn’t an Oscar contender, his second film, Bettlejuice, began the Academy’s love affair with the twisted world of Tim Burton. Beetlejuice won the Oscar for Best Makeup, which he followed up with another box office hit, Batman which netted him his second Oscar (his film treasure chests, not his own) for Art Direction. So enamored with the world of Burton, the Academy has recognized eleven of his fourteen films with Oscar nominations. His fourth film, Edward Scissorhands was nominated for Best Makeup, but lost; while his fifth feature Batman Returns also lost, but did so in two categories: Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects.
His first film to receive an acting nomination was Ed Wood, his sixth effort, which earned Martin Landau an acclaimed first Oscar and the film also took home the prize for Best Makeup. Makeup was one of the three categories that would define Burton with the Oscars, earning him several nominations and Oscars along the way. Below is a chart of his successes. His seventh film would prove to be his second of three films never to make it anywhere with Oscar, the critically reviled Mars Attacks!. This would also plague his ninth film, the likewise maligned remake of Planet of the Apes. With his least liked film (by critics anyway) failing to earn Oscar recognition, there may be a connection between them. Dark Shadows has received a healthy drubbing from critics and its chances at Art Direction, Costume Design and Makeup (his big three categories) in jeopardy as a result. He could still pull it out, but at this point, I see far too many contenders in the wings that could keep him away, but never count against Burton. At 11 out of 14, the odds are ever in his favor.
A couple of interesting observations about the below list. He has only been nominated in Art Direction four times, but each time out, he’s won. So you could say that he only gets nominated if he’s going to win…and in this case, you might have to say he won’t be nominated since the likelihood of his film winning the category is very low). Makeup and Costume Design also have four nominations apiece, but his chances at victory in those category are 50-50 at best. Best Visual Effects is the only other category he’s managed to earn multiple nominations, which suggests that it along with the aforementioned three categories, his only real chances are in these categories and since Dark Shadows‘ visual effects aren’t as realistic as those in other films coming out this year, I imagine he won’t be anywhere near the Oscar for those either.
Animated Feature (The Corpse Bride)
Actor (Sweeney Todd)
Supporting Actor (Ed Wood [O])
Original Score (Big Fish)
Cinematography (Sleepy Hollow)
Makeup (Beetlejuice [O], Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood [O], Batman Returns)
Art Direction (Batman [O], Sleepy Hollow [O], Sweeney Todd [O], Alice in Wonderland [O])
Costume Design (Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland [O])
Visual Effects (Batman Returns, Alice in Wonderland)