This coming week – on Thursday, January 14, in fact – the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its 2016 Oscar nominations. Before that happens, I would like to finish with my annual “best of” lists: I already posted my “best film” and “best acting” lists, so today’s post – about the (often) unsung artists and craftspeople who are essential to the filmmaking process – completes the triptych. As always, each movie title’s hyperlink will take you to my review, when I have one (if not, I have a note explaining where the hyperlink takes you). I also hyperlink the artists’ names, as well (mostly to IMDb, but sometimes to their own personal websites), so you can see what other work they have produced over their careers. In the case of best score, I link to the movies’ soundtracks on iTunes, as well. Occasionally, I add a note after the entries, to briefly explain my choices.
For each category, I stick to 5 candidates, in alphabetical order. These are the films where I thought that the work in that particular area truly enhanced the quality of the movie. Enjoy, and feel free to leave comments after you look it over!
[*3 of these are documentaries, which are among the hardest kinds of films to edit, given the huge amount of material to work with, from which one must, somehow, extract a coherent story.]
Best Production Design*:
- Carol (Judy Becker, Jesse Rosenthal, Heather Loeffler, Sandy Powell)
- Ex Machina (Mark Digby, Katrina Mackay & Denis Schnegg, Michelle Day, Sammy Sheldon)
- Mad Max: Fury Road (Colin Gibson, Shira Hockman & Jacinta Leong, Nicki Gardiner & Katie Sharrock & Lisa Thompson & Gena Vazquez, Jenny Beavan)
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Gerald Sullivan, Sarah M. Pott, Diana Stoughton, Jennifer Eve)
- Room (Ethan Tobman, Michelle Lannon, Mary Kirkland, Lea Carlson) – so impressed with the design of the “room,” in which the first part of the movie takes place.
[*I include the Production Designer, Art Director(s), Set Director and Costume Designer, in that order, for each film]
Best Special/Visual Effects*:
[*Too many people to mention all, so I include just the supervisor from the various teams, though the credits are complicated enough that I may be missing folks – or including too many – and for that I apologize]
Best Original Score*:
[*These scores all worked beautifully with their movies, adding much to the storytelling without overwhelming it.]