Tag Archives: costume

Academy Award® Nominated ~ Achievement in Costume Design

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

The Young Victoria

Click here for complete coverage of The Young Victoria, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Bright Star

Click here for complete coverage of Bright Star, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Coco Before Chanel

Click here for complete coverage of Coco Before Chanel, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Nine

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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Click here for complete coverage of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

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Academy Award® Nominated: Bright Star

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year-old English poet, John Keats (Ben Whishaw), and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), an out-spoken student of high fashion. This unlikely pair begin at odds, he thinking her a stylish minx, while she was unimpressed not only by his poetry but also by literature in general.

However, when Fanny heard that Keats was nursing his seriously ill younger brother, her efforts to help touched Keats and when she asked him to teach her about poetry he agreed. The poetry soon became a romantic remedy that worked not only to sort their differences, but also to fuel an impassioned love affair.

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The cast includes: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Kerry Fox, Paul Schneider, Edie Martin, Thomas Sangster, Gerard Monaco, Antonia Campbell-Huges, Samuel Roukin, and Amanda Hale

Reviews

IMDB member from England
“I saw this film tonight, and in my eyes, it is a perfect film. Beautifully acted by all involved, (several times during the film I found myself thinking ‘Abby Cornish is amazing!”, despite not being a huge fan before), and stunningly shot, it contains some of the most beautifully cinematic scenes i have ever seen committed to film. Campion does a wonderful job of communicating Fanny’ emotional state through the composition, particularly in one scene where the wind is blowing the curtain in her bedroom. The light and colour are fresh and gorgeous and the costumes and design add to the overall piece without being distracting, which is just what you want from a period piece.

But in the end, it is above all a wonderful story, well told. A deeply romantic tale, the story of Fanny and Keats could easily have become a mawkish, overly sentimental piece. But through her wonderfully naturalistic dialogue, her use of humour and light touch, and her restrained story telling (she never lets a scene go on one line too long) Jane Campion has created a heart wrenching film which I cannot fault. The characters are real and fully rounded, you feel the joys and the pain with them, and where I think she really succeeds is by making their love affair extraordinary and yet at the same time deeply ordinary. It stirred up my own personal experiences of love and loss and you would have to have a heart of stone not to shed a tear at the end. Lovely lovely film, and what cinema should be all about.”

Did You Know?

The Hyde House and Estate in Hyde, Bedfordshire substituted for the Keats House in Hampstead. Jane Campion decided that the Keats House (also known as Wentworth Place) was too small and “a little bit fusty“.

The film shot for one day in Rome. Keats’ funeral procession was the last scene to be filmed and the only scene of the film not shot in the UK.

One Nomination

Best in Costume Design

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Academy Award® Nominated: Coco Before Chanel

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


Several years after leaving the orphanage to which her father never returned for her, Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar both. She’s both a seamstress for the performers and a singer, earning the nickname Coco from the song she sings nightly with her sister. A liaison with Baron Balsan gives her an entree into French society and a chance to develop her gift for designing increasingly popular hats. When she falls in love with English businessman Arthur Capel further opportunities open up, though life becomes ever more complicated.

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The cast includes: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos, and Etienne Bartholomeus

Reviews

IMDB Member from Canada
“The first time the I heard about this movie was in this site I was going through Audrey Tautou’s page when I see ”Coco Avant Chanel” post production i was like so stunned and curious I went on the net could find any solid source and few months later, the first trailer came out. Then I saw how Tautou was looking, she was a diva in this movie, and even if Marion Cotillard won it for La Vie en Rose Tautou is surely getting an Oscar nom for her performance. What i really liked about this movie is that even if it based on Fashion its not superficial and its not like an big Fashion movie for crazy fashionesta’s this movie is quite simple and well structured. The story is modest and based on the begging of Chanel mix that with a strong screenplay and voilà! My final rating is 7,5\10. “

Did You Know?

From 1934 to 1971 Coco Chanel made the Hotel Ritz, Paris, France her home. A suite, in honor of her memory, has been named after her: the Coco Chanel Suite.

One Nomination

Best in Costume Design

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Academy Award® Nominated: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day. It tells the story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a traveling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick, in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all…

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The cast includes: Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Tom Waits, Peter Stormare, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, and Paloma Faith

Reviews

IMDB member
“This is Terry Gilliam’s dark masterpiece. It’s a brilliant film–there are fabulous, fantastic, surrealistic visual effects; gorgeous cinematography; and stunning performances by an amazing cast of consisting of both famous stars and lesser known (but excellent) actors. It’s in the vein of the great European surrealistic movies like Fellini’s “8 1/2” or “Satyricon”. But–if you’re not open to a mind bending, almost psychedelic fantasy and a plot with strange twists and turns that can be challenging to follow, this won’t be for you. The cast is terrific–I mean, Tom Waits plays “Old Scratch”–how can you lose? Christopher Plummer is excellent in the title role; Heath Ledger’s last performance is stellar. Lily Cole, Johnny Depp, Andrew Garfield, Jude Law, Verne Troyer, and Colin Farrell are also very good. The costumes and sets are gorgeous, though often in a dark and grungy way. By the way–it also ends up being a story about ethical choices in life and how some people are very misleading. Probably not material for a box office hit, sadly, as this film is probably too unusual for most Americans.”

Did You Know?

Heath Ledger’s last movie project. It is dedicated to him.

After the death of Heath Ledger, production was shut down for a few months. Then it was re-started when Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell agreed to complete Ledger’s role. The film’s fantasy premise, and some clever rewrites, let the actors play a man whose appearance changes as he travels between imaginary worlds.

The film contains various references to the classic staging of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot including Tom Waits’ black suit and bowler hat and Jude Law dragging a rope noosed around his neck (as does Lucky in the play).

One of Tom Waits’ most infamous music videos is for his song “God’s Away On Business“. Waits plays the Devil in this film. In both this film and in the music video, he makes use of a black umbrella.

Two Nominations

Best Art Direction
Best in Costume Design

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Academy Award® Nominated: The Young Victoria

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


From Martin Scorsese & the makers of Gosford Park and The Departed, comes the story of Queen Victoria’s early rise to power, focusing on her early reign in the 1830s. From an object of a royal power-struggle in, to her romantic courtship and legendary marriage to Prince Albert, Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada) gives a stunning performance as The Young Victoria.

Packed with drama, romance, political intrigue, breath-taking cinematography and featuring an outstanding British cast including Jim Broadbent, Mark Strong, Paul Bettany and Miranda Richardson and Rupert Friend.

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The cast includes: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Thomas Kretschmann, Mark Strong and Jesper Christensen

44D’s Reviews

Audiegrl
“I’m not sure what I initially expected from this film, but it did exceed my expectations. In visualizing Queen Victoria, it was always as a very plump and stern-looking older woman in a daguerreotype; the exact opposite of Emily Blunt’s head-strong and spirited portrayal of a young Victoria. Blunt did a wonderful job of breathing life into this character. Plus as with many historical films set in England, the cinematography and costumes were simply amazing. Anyone interested in history and a peek into the private lives of the Royals will enjoy this film.”

Did You Know?

Producer Sarah Ferguson’s daughter, Princess Beatrice of York, has a small role in the film as one of Victoria’s ladies in waiting. Beatrice is a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

The costumes that Emily Blunt wore were insured for £10,000 each.

Many of the interior scenes were filmed at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. The bed used in the honeymoon scene was slept in by the real Queen Victoria when she visited the castle in 1843. The bedroom is so small that all the cameras had to be placed outside the windows.

Three Nominations

Best Art Direction
Best in Costume Design
Best Makeup

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Noel Coward’s Star Quality to Light Up Academy Gallery

Posted by: Audiegrl

Noel Coward by Edward Sorel

Noel Coward by Edward Sorel

Star Quality: I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got it,” said Noel Coward in his inimitable style, cigarette in hand and a twinkle in his eye. The life and career of playwright, composer, director and actor Noel Coward will be celebrated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a new touring exhibition, “Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” opening on Saturday, January 23, in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.

Coward is well known as the creator of such stage classics as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Cavalcade, Design for Living and Blithe Spirit, many of which were adapted for film, and as the composer of such timeless songs as “I’ll See You Again,” “Mad About the Boy” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” “Star Quality” will be the first exhibition to show the full extent of Coward’s talents as a director of plays and movies, a stage and film actor, songwriter, cabaret artist, wartime patriot, painter and patron of charitable causes.

Noel Coward and stage partner Gertrude Lawrence 1936

Noel Coward and stage partner Gertrude Lawrence 1936

With unparalleled access to the Coward Archives, and drawing on public and private collections in Europe and the U.S. as well as the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the exhibition brings together dozens of rare photographs, drawings, paintings, original manuscripts, letters, sheet music, posters, playbills, set and costume designs, personal memorabilia, audio and video clips, and original costumes, including several of the silk dressing gowns that became Coward’s trademark. Coward’s friendships with many of the 20th century’s leading artists and film personalities also are documented throughout the exhibition, as are his contributions to the film world through his on-screen appearances and the numerous film adaptations of his stage work.

Noel Coward and Judy Garland 1951

Noel Coward and Judy Garland 1951

Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” is presented in association with the Noël Coward Foundation and the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco. The Academy’s installation has been guest curated by Brad Rosenstein and Rosy Runciman; the original exhibition was conceived and developed at Ten Chimneys by Erika Kent. Rosenstein will lead a public gallery talk at the Academy on Saturday, January 23, at 3 p.m. No reservations are required.

Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward” will be on display through Sunday, April 18. The Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit http://www.oscars.org.

Stephen Fry, Michael York and Pat York attend the opening of the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Academys Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills on Friday, January 22, 2010

Stephen Fry, Michael York and Pat York attend the opening of the exhibition Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward presented by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Academys Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills on Friday, January 22, 2010

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The Symbols of Halloween

jack-o-lantern2
When the Irish immigrants arrived in America, they brought with them the tradition of carving-out turnips (or, sometimes, a potato or rutabaga) and placing coals or a small candle inside the hollow. These were then displayed on doorsteps at Halloween to ward off evil spirits. However, the Irish quickly discovered that Jack O’Lanterns were much easier to carve out of the pumpkin which was a fruit native to their newly-adopted home…something of a blessing since turnips where nowhere near as plentiful or easy to find as they had been in Ireland. (The belief behind the Irish tradition of such carving is based upon the myth about a man called “Stingy Jack,” whose story may be accessed via the link below.) This practice spread swiftly among the general population in America and was soon an integral tradition of the Halloween festivities. The Jack O’Lantern is quite possibly the most well-known symbol of modern day Halloween.
The pumpkin (which is a fruit) has been growing on the earth for several thousand years. A type of squash, it is a member of the gourd family which also includes cucumbers, gherkins and melons. The pumpkin is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere and originated in Central America. It was used in olden times (and is still used today) as a food crop. Over the course of centuries, pumpkins spread their vines across the entire North and South America. When European immigrants arrived in the New World, they found the pumpkin to be in plentiful supply and used by Native Americans for culinary purposes. The seeds were later transported back to Europe where the pumpkin quickly became popular as a food source.

The origin of the custom of “trick or treating” is a controversial one. Some believe that the practice originated with the Druids who threatened dire consequences to residents who failed to respond generously to the demand for free goods or money. Since a similar tale stems from various historical roots among the countries which comprise the British Isles, it is probably safe to assume that the practice is ancient, even if its precise origin cannot be ascertained with any certainty. Another theory is that the Irish began the tradition of “trick or treating.” In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast to be held in the village. Yet another possible origin is that the custom dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades which were held in England. During such festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for the promise to pray for the wealthier family’s departed relatives. Distribution of such “soul cakes” was encouraged by the Church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The custom was referred to as “going a-souling” and was eventually practiced only by the children who would visit the houses in their neighborhoods and be given gifts of ale, food and money.

Yet one more possible explanation for the present day custom of begging candy and other “treats” from neighbors on Halloween involves a Celtic figure by the name of Muck Olla. According to Irish custom, it is traditional to solicit contributions from others in the name of Muck Olla, who would be sure to punish those too greedy to disoblige.

No matter the exact origin of the custom, it is a commonly accepted concept that it was once believed the spirits of the departed returned to visit their old homes during Halloween and, in ancient times, people left food out for such spirits and arranged chairs so that they would be able to rest. For this reason, it has been suggested that it was this olden day custom which eventually evolved into the tradition of people masquerading as departed spirits and journeying from door-to-door in order to beg for treats.

The tradition of wearing costumes at Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. In ancient times, Winter was an uncertain and frightening season when food supplies often ran low. For many people who feared the dark, the short days of Winter were filled with constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that spirits returned to the earthly world, people would wear masks when they left their homes during the night hours. In this way, they would avoid being recognized by the ghosts and be mistaken merely for fellow spirits. During Samhain, Celtic villagers would don costumes to represent the souls of the dead and dance out of town, in the hope of leading the dead along with them. Similarly, in Christian religions, parishioners would dress as their favorite Saints and display relics of these departed souls.


The use of witches and cats (together with ghosts) in the celebration of Halloween originates with the Druids, who believed that ghosts, spirits, fairies, witches, elves and all manner of supernatural manifestation emerged on Halloween night to possibly harm the living. It was a common Celtic belief that cats (particularly black ones) had once been human beings who had been transformed into felines as punishment for their evil deeds or through coming in contact with bad magick. Black cats were often tied with silver ropes because it was thought such creatures possessed the ability to protect sacred treasures. Catholic traditions blended with the Celtic beliefs and eventually turned the cat into a witch’s familiar, along with the theory that the witch herself had the mystical knowledge to transform herself into the form of a cat. The British once believed that elves rode upon the backs of villagers’ cats and would lock up the animals in order that the elves might not catch them. At one time, the British believed that it was the white cat who brought bad luck and not a black once, which was considered to be lucky.

Christianity painted the image of a witch as an ugly old hag, often sporting a wart on her nose. Considered by the Church as cohorts of the devil, witches were said to employ spells and charms in order to bring harm to good men and women. Aside from the association with cats, they were said to be assisted by bats or spiders or other creepy-crawly creatures while carrying out their wicked deeds, possessed of the demonic ability to adopt the form of such animals. It was also implied that witches often had need of baby fat in order to attain full power. However, this evil witch character is pure fiction. Witches may be traced back to at least the Celts…and possibly even further. In ancient times, the men and women who were designated as “witches” were considered to be wise people initiated in the mysteries if the spiritual world. They were also healers and experts in the art of medicines. Modern day witches are revivers of these old Pagan religions and related rituals.


In ancient times, Celtic priestesses would roam the countryside, chanting in order to frighten away the evil spirits thought to be abroad on Halloween night. It is believed that this old custom may be the origin of the Halloween Parade.


Apples have long been associated with female deities and with immortality, resurrection and knowledge. One reason being that if an apple is cut through its equator, it reveals a five-pointed star outlined at the center of each hemisphere, also known as a pentagram. The pentagram was a Goddess symbol to many cultures, including the Roma (gypsies), the Celts and the Egyptians.

With the coming of the Roman invasion into Celtic lands, came the Roman festival which honored Pomona and which was merged with the Druid celebration of Samhain. Pomona was the Roman Goddess who presided over Fruits and Gardens. She was invariably portrayed as a beautiful maiden whose arms were filled with fruit and who wore a crown of apples upon her head. It is generally accepted that it is from Pomono that the association of apples became aligned with Halloween, along with the custom of “bobbing” for this particular fruit and its close link to the Autumn harvests.

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