- Adam Stockhausen and Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich for Bridge of Spies
- Eve Stewart and Michael Standish for The Danish Girl
- Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson or Mad Max: Fury Road
- Arthur Max and Celia Bobak for The Martian
- Jack Fisk and Hamish Purdy for The Revenant
Is it just me, or have I seen this flavor of production design a thousand million times already? Bridge of Spies was really well produced, don't get me wrong. It was so on point, it looked really solidly like all our other mid-century war films, and that's the problem. Was it good? Certainly! Am I bored of it? You betcha!
There are a few treats in The Danish Girl from the paintings to the way spaces are arranged. The real pleasure, though, is in the location scouting. Luxuriously high-celinged rooms, opulent halls, and lavish homes make for sets that truly cheer the eye.
Okay, here it is. You know it. I know it. This is the movie that is going to have my babies. Car and Driver has an exposé on the cars of Fury Road, and it's better than anything I've ever written. Do you know why? Because the vehicles in Fury Road are amazing. And I don't even like cars. I like cars so little, I haven't owned a car in three and a half years. You know what does own, though? Mad Max: Fury Road owns.
You have to give The Martian credit: they put together a much more realistic idea of what it takes to live on Mars than Mars One ever did. Heck, their description of the Mars suit is still no more descriptive than "full body... flexible... keep [astronauts] safe from the harsh atmosphere." Kudos to Colin Gibson for making something that at least looks appropriate. Hey, maybe for the fiction he's working on, Bas Lansdorp should hire him.
The Revenant certainly had a very singular tone it carried from start to finish. When working with such talents as Iñárritu, Lubezki, West, and the great makeup crew, though, I wonder who really gets the credit. In Fisk's defense, he worked on The Master and There Will be Blood, both phenomenal films. Still, one has to wonder how much he benefits from working with legends in the making.*
Well this is anti-climactic. If Mad Max: Fury Road doesn't win, I'll... be wrong, I guess.
Should win: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson or Mad Max: Fury Road
Will win: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson or Mad Max: Fury Road
* I'm glad no one reads this ignorant trifle of a blog, because I should probably be eviscerated for this paragraph.