2020 Oscar Predictions — Best Costume Design

We don’t have to get into it. Not really. But did the Academy not see the dresses in Portrait of a Lady on Fire? Or Jamie Lee Curtis’ outfits in Knives Out? I mean…c’mon. Usually, I will put a still from one of the relevant nominated films here as a means of priming the conversation. Instead:

The Nominees:

  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Will Win: Little Women

Could Win: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Dark Horse: Joker


There is a certain conventionality to choosing the period piece costume drama to win Best Costume Design. But if Little Women is going to win anything, it is this. That is, if Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood doesn’t take it instead.

I don’t really foresee any of the other three films winning this category. Joker is a long shot pick; it only wins in this category if the Academy is ready to give it everything (I don’t think they are). But I can’t say The Irishman has enough vibrancy in its costuming to make noise against Little Women and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. As for Jojo Rabbit, it is not an impossibility. The costuming is period, but it is also a standard set of period costumes.

Little Women, on the other hand, has a lot to show off in the costume department. What may tip it toward Once Upon a Time, though, is the Hollywood nature of it all. There are costumes within the diegesis of the film which are elaborate on top of the period appropriate costumes for the characters offset. As I write this, I am convincing myself into believing that Tarantino’s film will win.

Consider it a mild tossup, but Little Women does check all the boxes for what the Academy generally likes in a costume design nominee.


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


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