Here it is. The moment we’ve been waiting for. The announcement of the Fabulous Costume Movie Madness Tournament of Champions competitors. Every entry has at least one link to a collection of costume images, most from The Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes, so you can take a look if you’re unfamiliar. That being said, your own research is encouraged, because I put these links together very, very quickly. When we start the actual voting, I’ll post some more information and links and pictures of of my favorite costumes. Provided I, ya know, don’t forget to do that again.
Don’t forget that voting starts March 13th.
Without further ado, here they are, in division order:
I. Award-Heavy Tearjerking Historical Drama Division
The top seeded division earns its name twice over. First, it has lots of awards The movies are three for three with “Best Costume Design” Oscar wins and two for three with BAFTA wins (Titanic was nominated but lost to Her Majesty Mrs. Brown), Rome was nominated for Emmys both seasons (it won one of those times), and the four entries have three CDG wins (four nominations) between them.
Second, these entries make me cry a lot.
My favorite entry in this category is Rome, a phenomenal HBO/BBC co-production cut tragically short for budgetary reasons.
II Pirates and Paniers are an Unfair Advantage Division
- The Duchess
- Marie Antoinette
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
- Muppet Treasure Island
“YOU SAID WORN BY REAL PEOPLE.” I know this, but two things: 1) there are real people in Muppet Treasure Island, many of them wearing fabulous costumes, and 2) biscuit privilege.
My favorite entry here is Marie Antoinette, and not just because of the plethora of little cakes (but let’s be honest, a little because of that).
III Fantasy Division
All four of these entries are on my favorite movie shelf. The knowledge that either Hero or The Fall must be left behind in the first! round! weighs on my soul like a big Ben Folds-shaped of sadness.
Based on our ranking system, this division wound up unfairly low. I chalk this up to the Academy’s historic distaste for fantasy (a trend broken by The Return of the King), and also that three of the four entries are flying a bit under-the-radar, so I moved it up. This is the most visually striking division, and I think if people give it a fair chance it will go far.
I can’t pick a favorite here. I have tried for weeks now. Let’s just move on.
IV Glitter Division!
This was originally a second fantasy division, made up of movies from the 80s…but then I took a long, hard look at things and realized that the costumes in most of those movies are boring as shit. About that time, I realized I hadn’t included Priscilla. Thus, the Glitter Division! was born.
Note: I did not include To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, because it’s a ripoff of Priscilla. Yes, it is. YES, IT IS.
Some really delicious costuming in here, and it’s tough, but Velvet Goldmine is my favorite.
V Ye Ren Faire Divisione
- Shakespeare in Love
- Elizabeth R (1971 BBC miniseries)
- The Virgin Queen (2005 BBC miniseries) link two
- Dangerous Beauty
I broke the rule here a little bit: I haven’t seen Dangerous Beauty. biscuit privilege. And I know we’ve got two entries that are essentially the same, but they’ll be up against each other in the first round so I’m ok with it.
My favorite is Elizabeth R. The acting is terrible and the production quality is pretty low, but damned if the costumes aren’t stunning.
VI She Makes Her Own Clothes Division
This division is…well, it has ladies making their own clothes. It was almost Curtain Dress Division, but Bright Star broke the mold there, and I really wanted to include Bright Star.
Gone with the Wind is my favorite. It was released before the Academy was giving out awards for Costume Design, and I feel Enchanted has an inflated rank due to this.
VII Jane Austen Division
- Price and Prejudice (BBC miniseries) link two
- Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson
- Bride and Prejudice
- Clueless and video
My favorite: Clueless. BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN, remind yourself of the following: it is a damned good adaptation of Emma and a very good movie on its own, and it is a perfect example of early 90s period costume, which, if you ask me (which you did) was infinitely more interesting and flattering than that of the Regency.
VIII Dark Horse Division
- 3:10 to Yuma
- Razzle Dazzle: A Journey into Dance
- Center Stage
- The Three Amigos
This is my favorite division. There are some nominations here (CDG for 3:10 to Yuma, and Australian Film Institute for Razzle Dazzle), but no wins, and I think if you asked fifteen people to name their favorite “costume movies,” none of these films would be anywhere near the list. That being said, there is some dynamite work here, and like the Fantasy Division, I think that some of these films could do really well.
Unsurprisingly, though, I’m having a BEAST of a time finding good links for these costumes. Updates when I can find them.
I’m hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but if I had to pick (and I do), I would say 3:10 to Yuma. Like the performances, the costuming draws a lot of its power from its subtlety. It’s gorgeous and gritty and sexy but still very real.
And there you have it.
Remember that voting starts in just! three! days!
Hopefully that will be long enough for me to figure out how to a) work polls, b) find good pictures of some of these costumes, and c) make a bracket.