2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Production Design

Ever since the trailer dropped, Blade Runner 2049 has stood out as the film to beat when it comes to production design. The sci-fi picture could pose a great threat as evidenced by Passengers last year, and the work is truly out of this world.

The Academy also loves to nominate prestige period pictures. Darkest Hour is a sure bet and not undeservedly so either. The interior work is outstanding.

Some less extravagant work among the field that should be nominated is Nathan Crowley’s design for Dunkirk. From the re-designed planes to the destroyer interiors to the background work to the mole, Crowley’s gritty work is the visual backbone of the film.

The Shape of Water also relies heavily on sets, taking place in hidden government laboratories during the Cold War era, but also featuring key designs such as the characters’ homes. The film itself will be incredibly strong, so this should be a rather simple nomination.

The final nomination is a bit tough to nail down. While The Shape of Water is a fantasy film, it lacks the typical vibrancy of fantasy, so Beauty and the Beast could certainly fill that colorful spot.

But truly, a lot of films and designers could contend for that fifth spot. Rick Heinrichs sets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, particularly Snoke’s throne room, are breathtaking.

And while makeup, hair and costume should all be rather significant in Phantom Thread, production design should be as well, with an added bonus that it takes place in the extravagance of London in the 1950s.

Some final contenders could be MudboundThe Greatest ShowmanThe Post and Murder on the Orient Express.

The 5
Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola — Blade Runner 2049
Sarah Greenwood — Darkest Hour
Paul D. Austerberry — The Shape of Water
Nathan Crowley — Dunkirk
Sarah Greenwood — Beauty and the Beast

Could contend
Rick Heinrichs — Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Mark Tildesley — Phantom Thread
David J. Bomba — Mudbound
Nathan Crowley — The Greatest Showman
Jim Clay — Murder on the Orient Express
Rick Carter — The Post


Featured image via Warner Bros.

Leave a Reply