Who will earn Oscar nods in the crafts categories? ‘Dune’ and done

A bald and bloated Stellan Skarsgård sits in a vat of muddy-looking liquid as Baron Harkonnen in a scene from "Dune."
Stellan Skarsgård’s transformation in “Dune” has made the film a leading contender for the makeup and hairstyling Oscar.
(Chia Bella James / Warner Bros.)

Maybe you saw “Dune” and found it cold and a little bit tiresome in the way it seemed to be allergic to fun. Or perhaps you found Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation arresting and involving, full of meaning and spectacle and can’t wait for “Dune: Part II” to drop in 2023.

Whatever your take, we can all probably agree that a lot of effort went into the craft of the movie and that even in the midst of its most inert dramatic moments — basically, its entire second half — you could find something interesting to look at, latch onto and spark a moment of wonder. (If I was a kid, I would have asked for a toy of one of those dragonfly fighter planes — apparently they’re called ornithopters — for Christmas and a sandworm stocking stuffer.)

My point: “Dune” is going to clean up in the Oscars’ crafts categories, making a best picture nomination likely as well. What other movies are also likely to find favor? Let’s consume a little spice melange — hey, it helps you see the future, so I’m sure it can be expensed — and look at production design, film editing, costume design, makeup & hairstyling, sound and visual effects.



“Dune,” Patrice Vermette (production designer), Zsuzsanna Sipos (set decorators)
“West Side Story,” Adam Stockhausen (production designer), Rena DeAngelo (set decorator)
“Nightmare Alley,” Tamara Deverell (production designer), Shane Vieau (set decorator)
“The French Dispatch,” Adam Stockhausen (production designer), Rena DeAngelo (set decorator)
“The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Stefan Dechant (production designer), Nancy Haigh (set decorator)

On the cusp: “The Power of the Dog,” Grant Major (production designer), Amber Richards (set decorator); “Being the Ricardos,” Jon Hutman (production designer), Ellen Brill (set decorator); “Cyrano,” Sarah Greenwood (production designer), Katie Spencer (set decorator); “Spencer,” Guy Hendrix-Dyas (production designer), Yesim Zolan (set decorator); “Belfast,” Jim Clay (production designer), Claire Nia Richards (set decorator)

Stockhausen won this Oscar for Wes Anderson’s last live-action film, “Grand Budapest Hotel,” and figures to return to the fold for creating the numerous precise and visually dense environments in the filmmaker’s love letter to the New Yorker. It will likely be one of two nominations for Stockhausen and set decorator DeAngelo, who also gave moviegoers a fresh take on New York in “West Side Story,” emphasizing the grit of a vanishing neighborhood.

“Dune” stands as the category’s front-runner for its scale and the way Vermette and his team brought alive the textures of the film’s different worlds. Villeneuve took his sweet time immersing moviegoers in all that world-building; lingering in all those massive sets to make sure you noticed the considerable work that went into their creation. Voters will note that they paid attention.



“Dune,” Joe Walker
“Belfast,” Úna Ní Dhonghaíle
“The Power of the Dog,” Peter Sciberras
“West Side Story,” Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn
“Licorice Pizza,” Andy Jurgensen

On the cusp: “Don’t Look Up,” Hank Corwin; “King Richard,” Pamela Martin; “Nightmare Alley,” Cam McLauchlin; “Tick, Tick ... Boom!” Myron Kerstein, Andrew Weisblum; “CODA,” Geraud Brisson

Corwin earned nominations for “The Big Short” and “Vice,” so it’s entirely possible he finds favor for this latest collaboration with filmmaker Adam McKay. And though Guillermo del Toro’s bloated noir “Nightmare Alley” didn’t fare well when the film academy revealed its Oscar shortlists last month, it could make a comeback here and elsewhere when the branches weigh in.


“Cruella,” Jenny Beavan
“Dune,” Jacqueline West, Robert Morgan
“West Side Story,” Paul Tazewell
“Spencer,” Jacqueline Durran
“House of Gucci,” Janty Yates

On the cusp: “Nightmare Alley,” Luis Sequeira; “The Power of the Dog,” Kirsty Cameron; “Coming 2 America,” Ruth E. Carter; “Belfast,” Charlotte Walter; “The French Dispatch,” Milena Canonero; “Being the Ricardos,” Susan Lyall; “Cyrano,” Massimo Cantini Parrini; “Licorice Pizza,” Mark Bridges

Durran has won two Oscars, most recently for Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women.” Not everyone appreciated the way filmmaker Pablo Larraín turned Princess Diana’s story into a psychological horror film, but still ... that wedding gown! The yellow sailor suit! Durran’s costuming evoked and riffed on Diana’s bold style and revealed her emotional journey. Plus, her costumes subtly made Stewart look a little taller, closing the six-inch gap in height between the star and her subject.



“Dune,” Donald Mowat, Love Larson, Eva von Bahr
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, Justin Raleigh
“House of Gucci,” Jana Carboni, Giuliano Mariano, Göran Lundström
“Cruella,” Nadia Stacey, Carolyn Cousins
“West Side Story,” Judy Chin, Kay Georgiou

On the cusp: “The Suicide Squad,” Heba Thorisdottir, Janine Thompson; “Nightmare Alley,” Cliona Furey, Jo-Ann MacNeil

The Oscar will likely come down to which image lingered longer in voters’ minds: Stellan Skarsgård’s bald, often-nude, 600-pound “Dune” villain, Jared Leto’s bald, aged, overweight “Gucci” misfit or Jessica Chastain’s mascara-burdened televangelist in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” (All those coats of makeup may have permanently damaged Chastain’s skin. “It’s fine,” she told The Times. “It’s for my art.”)


“West Side Story”
“No Time to Die”
“Tick, Tick ... Boom!”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

On the cusp: “Belfast,” “The Power of the Dog,” “The Matrix Resurrections,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” “Last Night in Soho”

“Spider-Man” sound mixer Kevin O’Connell has been nominated 21 times ... including efforts on the Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” movies. (He was even nominated for “Dune” ... the one directed by David Lynch decades ago.) “No Way Home” will likely need nominations here and visual effects to help translate its phenomenal commercial success into a longshot best picture nomination.



“Spider-Man: No Way Home”
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”
“The Matrix Resurrections”
“Godzilla vs. Kong”

On the cusp: “No Time to Die,” “Eternals,” “Free Guy”

The Bond movie could make it in as this branch is dominated by older men who wouldn’t need CGI to show their own tears at the thought of Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007 coming to a close.