Villainous psychopathic Juggalos are now Oscar-worthy material. And though Killer Croc looked sufficiently crocodilian in Suicide Squad, was the rest of the movie’s clownish makeup better than the scores of strange new aliens in Star Trek Beyond?
In fairness, Star Trek Beyond’s makeup supervisor, Joel Harlow, has won an Oscar before. Along with Mindy Hall and Barney Burman, Harlow’s work on the first Star Trek reboot won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 2010 awards. That’s impressive considering Avatar and District 9 were eligible for Oscar makeup nominations that year, too. Still, space aliens don’t do terribly well in the world Oscars. As it stands, the 2009 version of Star Trek and Men in Black are the only alien-heavy films which have won Oscars for makeup. Bizarrely, the only Star Wars movie even nominated for Best Makeup was Revenge of the Sith. It lost to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is arguably a bigger slap in the face than Star Trek Beyond losing to Suicide Squad, but similarly, it feels wrong.
Historically, science fiction basically invented the makeup Oscar with Planet of the Apes in 1968. But, extraterrestrials generally have it a rough. Sure, the 2009 Star Trek did win for Best Makeup and Hairstyle, but there’s every reason to believe that the award was given because Chris Pine (a human) had great hair in the movie. Meanwhile, the myriad of new aliens in Star Trek Beyond arguably beat the aliens in a lot of science fiction movies in recent memory. It’s tough to make an argument that quantity equals quality in a case like this, but it seems like Suicide Squad was mostly just clown makeup and one oatmeal-faced monster. Meanwhile, Idris Elba’s alien Krall had makeup which had to evolve over the course of the film, meaning the makeup changed from scene to scene.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was also ignored for best makeup this year, which though it continues a history of Star Wars makeup snubs, also seems weird. Was Two-Tubes not cooler looking than Harley Quinn? Sure, more people will cosplay as Harley Quinn at conventions, but a greater artistry for the makeup of Two-Tubes could be argued.
With both Alien: Covenant and Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi coming out this year, there’s a good bet that next year, aliens will once again be in the running for makeup awards at the Oscars. They’ll stand a good chance too, as long as all the supervillains leave their clown makeup at home.