Looking Back at the 2023 Oscar Nominees

February 14th, 2024

February 14th, 2024

With less than a month to go until the 2024 Academy Awards, Warpaint takes a look back at last year’s nominees for the Makeup and Hairstyling category.

All Quiet on the Western Front – Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová 

With nine nominations across various categories, Edward Berger’s rendition of All Quiet on the Western Front was brought to life under the direction of Heike Merker – head of the Makeup and Hair department – and first-time nominee Linda Eisenhamerová.  The team worked to authentically recreate the harsh reality faced by the soldiers, primarily through lashings of mud and dirt which were layered on in between takes, as well as discoloured teeth, dark shadows and deep facial lines.  In the video below, Merker discusses the process and the practical difficulties the team faced in filming on location.  

Elvis – Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, Aldo Signoretti 

Winning the BAFTA for Make Up and Hair in 2023, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis also received eight nominations for the 95th Academy Awards.  For its makeup and hair styling, Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti were noted for their achievements; from the total transformation of Tom Hanks into Colonel Tom Parker to the development of Austin Butler as Elvis over the 20-year period of his life under the lens.  Check out our article on the 2023 BAFTAs for more. 

The Batman – Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontain  

Key to Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of the masked vigilante in Matt Reeve’s The Batman was the work of the hair and makeup team. Lead by Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontain, the team relied on reference images of Kurt Cobain pulled by both Pattinson and Reeves, which heavily inspired the dark, grungy tone of the movie. In the video below, the three artists break down the process behind creating the look while navigating the difficulties brought about by the COVID break.  

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Camille Friend and Joel Harlow  

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ensured to prioritise the nature of Black and Brown beauty, largely inspired by a range of Mayan and African cultures.  The movie’s prequel had already established a precedent for many of the key character’s looks, but the creation of the Talokanil, the new underwater Mayan society, created new challenges for Camille Friend and Joel Harlow to navigate.  Working closely with academics, the duo studied a vast range of references and artifacts to create a look which was both culturally appropriate and accurate.  Additionally, as the Talokanil were often filmed underwater, the team had to find ways of preserving and translating the intricacies of the hair and makeup both above sea level and below.  


The Whale (Winner) – Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Annemarie Bradley  

The transformation of Brendan Fraiser into the morbidly obese, reclusive English professor, Charlie, for Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale ultimately earned the makeup and hair styling team the win at the 2023 Academy Awards. Prosthetics designer Adrien Morot undertook the mammoth challenge and, alongside some actual weight gain from Fraiser and some CGI fine tuning, succeeded in creating the final 600lbs look. Working with Judy Chin, the head of makeup, and Annemarie Bradley, head of the hair department, the trio triumphed in winning the award on the same night which saw Fraiser take home his first Oscar for Best Actor.  


We look forward to seeing the results of the 96th Academy Awards, taking place on March 10th.



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By Frankie Hardy

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