2020 Precursor Predictions: Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild

This group has a middling history of predicting the Oscars, though certain nomination trends can be spotted by looking here. That said, we look to a single category for its potential and beyond that, it will just be interesting to see what industry professionals really think.


Best Special Make-up Effects

Bill & Ted Face the Music
Hillbilly Elegy (Wesley, Tripp, RU:Thomas)
Mulan (RU:Peter)
Pinocchio (Peter, Thomas, RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp)
The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Wonder Woman 1984

Wesley Lovell: This is the category most likely to mirror the Oscars as this is what the award has been best known for. Hillbilly Elegy needs this win, and I think it will get it, on its inevitable push towards the Oscars. That said, Pinocchio was the only other nominee in this category to make the Oscar list, so it provides Hillbilly its strongest competition and could eke out a victory.
Peter J. Patrick: The special effects makeup for Pinocchio is just stunning. It’s the one I would reward, so here it is, with Mulan the runner-up.
Tripp Burton: The work to make the Hillbilly Elegy cast look so much like their real-life counterparts will probably win here, but might Pinocchio be a surprise contender we are not paying attention to? I think so.
Thomas LaTourette: In an odd group of nominees, I expect Pinocchio to prevail over Hillbilly Elegy. They are the only two Oscar nominees here which should help one of them win, though that may not have an affect on the eventual Oscar winner.

Best Period and/or Character Make-up

Bill & Ted Face the Music
Hillbilly Elegy (RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas, RU:Peter)
Mank (Peter)

Wesley Lovell: The strange case of Bill & Ted Face the Music, the first film ever nominated in all five of this group’s category, means it could be a contender in all of them. Then again, the film wasn’t terribly well received and there are more impressive works available to choose, so I suspect it is out of the running everywhere. Here, Ma Rainey’s would appear to me to be the frontrunner. It’s not nominated in the Special Make-Up Effects category, so I could picture it winning this over Hillbilly Elegy, though Mank is also a stealth contender here.
Peter J. Patrick: Same as with hairstyling, I’ll take a chance and go with the most subtle.
Tripp Burton: Ma Rainey’s transformation does so much to carry the success of that film, and is probably the favorite here.
Thomas LaTourette: The transformation of Viola Davis into Ma Rainey will triumph over the changing of Glenn Close into Mamaw.

Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling

Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Tripp, Thomas, RU:Peter)
Mank (Peter, RU:Wesley, RU:Thomas)
Mulan (RU:Tripp)
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Wesley)

Wesley Lovell: For hairstyling, Ma Rainey once again feels like the biggest contender, but Jingle Jangle, an underrewarded film of this awards season, could well sneak in for the win and I wouldn’t entirely count out Mank, which I rate just slightly a head of Ma Rainey, though I could see any of the three winning.
Peter J. Patrick: Or as I like to say, which one has the best wigs? Ma Rainey and Hillbilly Elegy are the most obvious, Mank the most subtle. Will they go for obviousness or subtlety? I’ll take a chance and go for subtlety.
Tripp Burton: Like the make-up category, no movie relied on wigs and hair styling to so transform a world as Ma Rainey this year.
Thomas LaTourette: Ma Rainey’s horse hair wig will probably prevail over Mank, but I could easily see it going the other way with the larger cast of Mank requiring more wigs and styling.

Best Contemporary Make-up

Bill & Ted Face the Music
Birds of Prey (Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Tripp, RU:Wesley)
The Prom (RU:Peter)
Promising Young Woman (Peter, Thomas)

Wesley Lovell: None of these titles made the Oscar finals, which is a bit surprising considering the Suicide Squad precedent. That said, I expect Birds of Prey to lead this category simply because of its outrageous makeup and hairstyling effects. Watch out, though, for Promising Young Woman with that iconic makeup work. It might be too little for this branch, which prefers excess. Then again, don’t underestimate Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and its numerous makeup changes.
Peter J. Patrick: Same choices, same outcome? I think so in this case.
Tripp Burton: I don’t know why Borat isn’t in the Special Makeup category, but I can’t see the voters passing up the prosthetics of that film here.
Thomas LaTourette: I think they might go with the more prestigious film, Promising Young Woman, to win over Birds of Prey.

Best Contemporary Hair Styling

Bill & Ted Face the Music
Birds of Prey (Wesley, Thomas, RU:Tripp)
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RU:Wesley)
The Prom (RU:Peter)
Promising Young Woman (Peter, Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Wesley Lovell: Here, Birds of Prey is still the frontrunner, but its primary competition is The Prom, which could benefit from its numerous dos, but Borat Subsequent Moviefilm might be a better prediction dues to its large number of different styles.
Peter J. Patrick: I wouldn’t call any of these contemporary except that they take place in the more-or-less present – but it doesn’t matter what I think – what do the artisans think? I don’t know, but Promising Young Woman is the best film of the lot so I’ll go with that and pick The Prom as runner-up.
Tripp Burton: I’m never quite sure how voters will think in this category, but I think one of the two female revenge films will be honored here for the importance of hair in transforming their female heroes.
Thomas LaTourette: With the larger cast and more interesting styles, Birds of Prey will probably win here.

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