Nearly 1 Out of 4 of ‘Barbie’ Viewers Hadn’t Gone to the Movies Since COVID
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Film 2024 Oscars: Best Makeup and Hairstyling Predictions

2024 Oscars: Best Makeup and Hairstyling Predictions

Nearly 1 Out of 4 of ‘Barbie’ Viewers Hadn’t Gone to the Movies Since COVID

Nominations voting is from January 11–16, 2024, with official Oscar nominations announced on January 23, 2024. Final voting is February 22–27, 2024. And finally, the 96th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 10, and air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. We update predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2024 Oscar picks.

The State of the Race

“Barbie” (Warner Bros.), “Oppenheimer” (Universal), “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” (Universal), “The Little Mermaid” (Disney), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel/Disney), and “Asteroid City” (Focus) are the early standouts for 2024 makeup and hairstyling Oscar nominations. However, the strongest competition will come this fall from “Maestro,” (Netflix), “Poor Things” (Searchlight), and “The Exorcist: Believer” (Universal).

Also in the mix are “Priscilla” (A24), “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple TV+/Paramount), “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.), “Wonka” (Warner Bros.), and “Saltburn” (Amazon/MGM).

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Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster “Barbie” required the makeup and hairstyling team (overseen by Ivana Primorac) to embody the plastic essence of the Mattel dolls through the actors. But it did not necessarily demand a plastic look. Instead, they went for a more grounded concept built around the human ideal. Skin smoothness, color, and proportions were all worked out. Hair was long and luxurious. And makeup and hair were individually crafted for every Barbie and Ken and each character had its own team. Margot Robbie’s Barbie had a peach look to her skin and she wore special body makeup. She wore nearly 20 wigs and there were more hairpieces stacked on top for volume. Ryan Gosling’s Ken went through a process of finding the right shade of blond and spray-tanned look. Kate McKinnon’s Weird Barbie, with her chopped hair and marked-up face, required special eyeliners to look like Black Sharpie and bright, flat primary colors to make the squiggly lines.

Transformations win Oscars and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” boasts impressive work for turning Robert Downey Jr. into the elderly Admiral Lewis Strauss (during the innovative large-format black-and-white sequences). Downey, who’s a strong Best Supporting Actor contender, portrays the antagonist to Cillian Murphy’s physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb.” This is a film about faces, and Downey looks quite distinguished aged up with white hair and makeup embellishment. The team was supervised by the director’s go-to head of makeup Luisa Abel and hair lead Jaime Leigh McIntosh. There’s also a strong prosthetic component when Oppenheimer imagines the impact of the radiation fallout on the faces of his Manhattan Project colleagues.

André Øvredal’s “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” contains old-style practical creature effects to transform the 6-foot 7-inch Javier Botet into the monstrous Dracula. Two-time Oscar nominee Göran Lundström (“House of Gucci” and “Border”) created the pale, veiny, dead-eyed vampire at his most feral-looking in five distinct stages (using Max Schreck’s iconic look from “Nosferatu”).

Rob Marshall’s live-action reworking of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” featured standout work for Halle Bailey’s Ariel and Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula. In particular, Oscar-nominated hair designer Camille Friend (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) re-imagined the character’s redheaded, flowing locks for the actress using her own hair. She collaborated with Oscar-winning makeup and hair designer Peter Swords King (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), who transformed McCarthy into the iconic sea witch.

2024 Oscars Best Makeup and Hairstyling Predictions | ManOfTheCenturyMovie

James Gunn’s Marvel farewell, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” contains a vast array of character work, led by Alexei Dmitriew (makeup head) and Cassie Russek (hair head), and utilized a record 22,500 prosthetics for its ensemble cast. Among the highlights are the Humanimals and Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary baddie, with his ripped-face look.

Wes Anderson’s existential, Cold War odyssey “Asteroid City,” mainly set in a mid-’50s desert town, offers two highlights (led by hair and makeup head Claire Burgess): Scarlett Johansson’s movie star, Midge, who sports Elizabeth Taylor-inspired raven-black hair, cat-eye makeup, and red lips, and Jeff Goldblum’s mysterious, rubbery-looking alien (from prosthetics effects artist Paul Jones).

The most attention-grabbing transformation is that of Bradley Cooper as legendary conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro,” which he also co-writes and directs. Kazu Hiro, the Oscar-winning prosthetic makeup guru (“Bombshell” and “Darkest Hour”), oversaw the overall transformation, spanning nearly five decades in the life of Bernstein and his complicated relationship with actress wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). The work, in collaboration with Oscar-nominated makeup head Sian Grigg (“The Revenant”) and Oscar-nominated hair head Kay Georgiou (“Joker”), includes prosthetic makeup for the body, face, neck, arms, and hands. The debate about Cooper’s onscreen use of a long prosthetic nose appearing antisemitic, has been put to rest by Bernstein’s children — Jamie, Alexander, and Nina Bernstein. They found it appropriate to “amplify his resemblance” with makeup.

Yargos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things,” a twisted Victorian “Frankenstein” gender-bender, stars Emma Stone as Bela, who’s crudely resurrected from the dead by her scientist father (Willem Dafoe) with the brain of her unborn child. This results in a strange and surreal transformation from a traumatized woman to a fearless one who upends 19th-century roles and conventions. Oscar-nominated makeup and hair artist Nadia Stacey (“Cruella”), who worked on “The Favourite” with the director, creates a transformation from feral to outlandish, which complements the costume design of Holly Waddington. However, her father’s deformed face is even more creative.

David Gordon Green’s “The Exorcist: Believer,” the sequel to the horror blockbuster, has the return of Ellen Burstyn’s Chris MacNeill to battle demon Pazuzu with the possession of two young girls (Lidya Jewett and Olivia Marcum). Oscar-winning special make-up FX designer Christopher Allen Nelson (“Suicide Squad”) creates two complementary designs for the possessed girls in keeping with the iconic look provided by Dick Smith, who pioneered the combination of makeup with on-set special effects on “The Exorcist.”

Poor Things
“Poor Things”Courtesy Searchlight Pictures

As for the rest: Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla,” an American princess story about Cailee Spaeny’s teenage Priscilla and Jacob Elordi’s Elvis Presley, touts the work of makeup designer Jo-Ann MacNeil and hair designer Cliona Furey. The Osage Nation is the centerpiece of Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which depicts the 1920s fact-based Oklahoma crime drama about the serial murders of Osage Indians to steal their oil-rich territory. All of the crafts benefited from Osage consultants, which includes the team led by makeup department head Thomas Nellen and key hairstylist James Eaton. Lily Gladstone’s Mollie Burkhart, the key Osage character, experiences an arc reflected in both costume and makeup/hair design.

Blitz Bazawule’s “The Color Purple,” adapted from the Broadway musical and starring Bailey and Fantasia Barrino as Alice Walker’s celebrated Celie, leans into early 20th-century magical realism. The makeup and hair should be standouts under the supervision of makeup head Carol Rasheed and hair head Lawrence Davis. “Wonka,” the musical fantasy prequel from director Paul King (“Paddington”), starring Timothée Chalamet as the famed chocolate maker in training, seizes on a Victorian/Edwardian look, overseen by makeup supervisor Carmel Jackson and hair supervisor John Fallows, with Sally Alcott handling special makeup effects. But it’s Hugh Grant’s Oompa-Loompa that gets the most fantastical treatment. “Saltburn,” Emerald Fennell’s wicked satire of English wealth and privilege at the dawn of the 21st century, features the makeup and hair design work of Siân Miller.

Potential nominees are listed in alphabetical order; no film will be deemed a frontrunner until we have seen it.


“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
“The Last Voyage of the Demeter”
“The Little Mermaid”


“Asteroid City”
“Killers of the Flower Moon”
”Poor Things”
“The Color Purple”
“The Exorcist: Believer”
“The Little Mermaid”

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