Best Costume Design is never the hardest category to predict. In general, the most ornate or baroque costuming lends itself to a winning film. Most years, there are only one or two clear front-runners to choose from.
This year is not entirely different, but there are a few different scenarios in which this category could go.
Will Win: Phantom Thread
Could Win: Beauty and the Beast
Should Win: Phantom Thread
So, Phantom Thread is a film that embeds itself in the couture world. The movie is about a relationship centered around dress making. As such, it is hard to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s film not winning.
If anything is going to upset it, it will probably be Beauty and the Beast. The film yields some fantastical costume design that is vibrant and ornate. But this film is not as big of an Oscar film. Phantom Thread is seeing a wider release currently, and its stock is destined to rise, however marginally. That PTA received a Best Director nod is a clear sign of this.
Aside from Beauty and the Beast, I don’t know what would upend Phantom Thread in this category. It is the film to beat, certainly.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)