Oscars 2014 — Best Production Design

Production design, or art direction in previous years, is responsible for the overall look and feel of the film. This includes sets, props, costuming, and everything else that contributes to the atmosphere and appearance of the film.

Each of this year’s nominees have worked hard to create a distinct world apart from the one we currently live in. It’ll be a close race as all of these films have a good shot at winning, but the main competition seems to be between The Great Gatsby and American Hustle, though Her could make for a surprise win.

The Great Gatsby turns to the Roaring 20s in all its spectacular imagery one expects from a Baz Lurhman film. Catherine Martin previously won both art direction and costume design for her work in Lurhman’s Moulin Rouge in 2001 which has a similar extravagance. The aesthetic side of Gatsby was so perfect, the attention to detail in this massive undertaking was stunning. It’s really theirs to lose.

American Hustle takes a look at the late 70s providing all the gaudy, tacky, flashy set pieces possible for one film. Becker and Loeffler captured the essence of each character perfectly in each of their homes, which is the ideal.

Her pushes slightly into the future where technology is even more advanced and commonplace then it is today. For this, everything needed to be streamlined to a degree where it felt like we could be living there in a few years allowing for a connection to the major themes of the film while also detaching enough that we knew it was in the future.

  1. “The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
  2. “American Hustle” — Judy Becker and Heather Loeffler
  3. “12 Years a Slave” — Adam Stockhausen and Alice Baker
  4. “Gravity” — Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
  5. “Her” — K.K. Barrett and Gene Serdena