Oscars 2023: The Best Production Design Predictions

In the race between the four period pieces and “Avatar,” “Elvis” has the upper hand.

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We’ll be updating all of our Oscar predictions throughout the season, so stay tuned to IndieWire for the latest news on the 2023 Oscar race. The nomination round of voting will take place between January 12 and January 17, 2023, with the official Oscar nominations announced on January 24, 2023. The final vote will take place between March 2 and 7, 2023. Finally the 95. Oscar Award The telecast will air on Sunday, March 12th and live on ABC at 8:00 PM ET/ 5:00 PM PT.

Check out our initial thoughts on what to expect at the 95th anniversary Oscars here.

State of the species

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Babylon,” “Elvis” and “The Fabelmans” were nominated Tuesday for best production design Oscars . All are also nominated for the 27th ADG Awards (February 18 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel).

Ignored were ADG nominees “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Bardo, The False Chronicle of a Handful of Truth,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” directed by Oscar winners Hannah Beachler, Eugenio Caballero and designed by Rick. Heinrichs. Best Picture favorite and ADG nominee “Everything Everywhere All at Once” also failed to make it to the Academy category.

Now the competition is between four period pieces and James Cameron’s water-focused sci-fi sequel. Three of the nominees have Oscar pedigree: Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling “Elvis,” the front-runner, was overseen by two-time Oscar winner Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby” and “Moulin Rouge!”) and co-production designer Karen Murphy. Historic locations—Graceland Mansion, Beale Street Memphis Blues Center, the carnival where Tom Hanks’ Colonel Parker met Austin Butler’s Presley, and the International Hotel in Las Vegas—were recreated and transformed into a hyper-real thrill ride. .

‘Avatar’ won the Oscar for game-changing production design, but will it do it again? Co-production designers Dylan Cole and Ben Procter and the art department have a lot more world-building to work with in terms of environments and creatures. The oceans are outstanding, and the islands – where the Metkayina reef dwells in their intricately woven village – are exotic. These reefs have adapted to the water, with stronger, wider tails, stripes on their arms and legs, and webbing over their eyes to see them underwater. Additionally, the art department had to populate an entire ocean, from the sea floor up, from several species of coral and aquatic plants (many bioluminescent) to dozens of fish, including the intelligent, whale-like tulkun.

And Rick Carter, who relives Steven Spielberg’s childhood in the semi-autobiographical “The Fabelmans,” is a two-time Oscar winner for “Lincoln” and “Avatar.” Carter cracked the “Spielberg code” of recurring themes and motifs in his films and turned it into a classic migration tale. The three Fabelman houses in New Jersey, Arizona, and Northern California became the chambers of Sammy’s (Gabriel LaBelle) psychological development, based on Spielberg’s memories and photographic reference material from his family archives. The recreations thus captured the emotional atmosphere of the spaces.

The two other nominees are literally worlds apart: in Damien Chazelle’s epic Babylon, a comedy-drama about hedonistic Hollywood in the Roaring Twenties, production designer Florencia Martin (“Blonde”, “Licorice Pizza”) and the art department highlighted the parallels. Between the formation of LA and the continuous construction and dismantling of the film industry. A team of 150 artisans created a world of opulent, jewel-toned, manufactured environments set against the hot, barren, and inhospitable desert of early LA. Throughout Southern California, they scouted out period-appropriate locations and designed sets that showcased the popular Revival-style architecture of the era. — Mission, Gothic, Spanish and Tudor. For each character, the architectural style is the manifestation of the world in which they want to be.

Edward Berger’s anti-war epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” is an immersive POV film that takes us through the battlefields and trenches of World War I through long tracking shots. Production designer Christian Goldbeck strategically built them outside of Prague in a way that helped the oppressive atmosphere. The trenches were claustrophobic and moving around the battlefield during filming (against the light) was psychologically and physically challenging and depressing, especially as it was cold, wet and muddy.

Below is a list of the candidates in order of probability of victory:

“Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
“Babylon” (the most important)
Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios/Disney)
“Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
“The Fabelmans” (Universal)

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