How could they? Why would they?
I’m talking, of course, about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ unsightly snub of “American Hustle’s” hair in the Oscar nominations Thursday.
This is not to denigrate in any way the very fine work of the nominees: “Dallas Buyers Club’s” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, “The Lone Ranger’s” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua Casny, and the academy’s seriously gutsy decision to show a little love to “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” and Stephen Prouty.
It is a first-time nomination for all but Harlow, who shared an Oscar win for “Star Trek’s” makeup in 2010. And there are very good reasons for all who made the cut. Johnny Depp’s feathered headdress and his chalk- and charcoal-streaked face in “Ranger” are unforgettable. Jared Leto's long locks and Matthew McConaughey’s greased strands in “Dallas” are a study in the best and worst of '80s styles. Meanwhile, the aging of Johnny Knoxville from head to toe, and many unsightly private parts in between, for “Bad Grandpa” is pretty miraculous.
But I find myself stunned that the lineup of the outstanding achievement in makeup and hairstyling does not make note of Kathrine Gordon’s monumental curls, for guys and girls. Or the fabulousness of that sidewinding comb-over. How could it be ignored, go unnoted, unapplauded?
In "Hustle," the hair is exceptional and ever there, sometimes everywhere, sometimes barely there. Whether piled high, swinging long, frizzed and fried, or so artfully thin, the “Hustle” hair gave character to each character.
Would Christian Bale been as believably baleful without his serious attention to artifice captured in each careful positioning of his sparse strands? Bradley Cooper’s perm is a malevolent marvel. Jennifer Lawrence's bouffants, like soft swirls of ice cream, came in so many shapes and flavors, I couldn't wait to see what would come next. And Amy Adams – from the loose and lush to the absolutely electrified – is a study in contrasting textures and moods.
As to the makeup, Evelyne Noraz deserves gold for Lawrence’s eyeliner alone.