Smell of Popcorn

film reviews & musings by Max Lalanne

Oscar Musings: ‘Snow White & the Huntsman’

Posted by Max Lalanne on July 11, 2012

You might have noticed, if you watched “Snow White and the Huntsman” when it was released early last month, that Universal’s “retelling” has some quite nice visuals and a quite mediocre story, to say the least. Style over substance, that’s the phrase. So for the second Oscar Musings installment, I think it’s safe to say that any awards “Snow White” receives will be purely technical and below-the-line. Sure, Charlize Theron had some fun unhinged moments, but do you really see her being nominated for best actress? For “Snow White,” where she endlessly shrieks and shouts about devouring Kristen Stewart’s heart and takes white goo baths in the meantime? That would be quite silly and unlike Academy voters, with no insult meant to Theron. (I don’t see her getting anything for “Prometheus,” either, but that’s for a later post.)

But what technical awards should “Snow White” be nominated for? Cinematographer Greig Fraser has been busy with sophisticated projects this year, having shot Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly” and currently being in the midst of production for Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” two films that could be called awards bait at the very least. So it’s interesting that he would’ve been partly responsible for the lush and striking action-fantasy visual elements that are the best parts of “Snow White.” I don’t think Fraser will get a nod for this movie, though. The cinematography, as breathtaking as it was, just seems too stylishly high-end, expensive-commercial-ish, forgettably nice for the Oscars. If they want gorgeous, highly-saturated lensing, the voters will have their pick with the period pieces “Great Gatsby” or “Anna Karenina,” and if they want simply restrainedly great stuff they’ll be more inclined towards “The Master,” which is shot on old-fashioned 60mm film stock and looks fantastic. But I digress…

The only notable category I see, actually, “Snow White” getting invited to the Oscars for and worth Universal putting a post-Oscar “Congratulations on our win for…” ad is best costume design. Coleen Atwood was the one responsible for all the wicked dresses and whatnot for the film, and if you know anything about Oscar history you know that Atwood is a formidable legend in her own right. 2003’s “Chicago,” 2006’s “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and 2011’s “Alice in Wonderland” won her three of these little gold statuettes, and her other work in between and before has garnered her six Oscar nominations total. There’s no arguing that “Snow White” will be nominated for best costume design. Perhaps art direction, also. And ironically, it looks like the long-dropped Snow White face-off between “Mirror, Mirror” and “Snow White” will be rescuscitated at the Oscars, over at the best costume design category. Looking forward to it, yeah.

Possible Oscar nominations for “Snow White and the Huntsman”
Best visual effects – 30/70 chance, no
Best sound editing & mixing – 40/60 chance, no
Best editing – 20/80 chance, no
Best costume design – 80/20 chance, yes
Best art direction – 50/50 chance, yes(?)
Best makeup/hair – 40/60 chance, no
Best original song – 50/50 chance, yes(?)
Best score – 40/60 chance, no

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