Costume Design - Sandy Powell (also nominated for Carol's costumes this year, 2 out of 5 categories, not too shabby!)
In case you've never heard the story of Cinderella a million times, here it is. Sweet and perfect Cinderella loses her mother and her father remarries. Her evil stepmother has two daughters who have no taste and are terribly rude. They all torment Cinderella, take her room and make her move into the dusty old attic (where, animated mice live) even though there are a jillion rooms in the mansion, and treat her like dirt. Nonetheless, she is kind to them and becomes their personal slave. Her father dies and the veneer of any kindness once given is now full throated venom. While out and about, she meets the dreamiest of guys who fails to share that he is the Prince on his way to being King. When they meet, he is immediately captivated by her, and when he is pushed to find a royal bride, he convinces his father that he should throw a royal ball and invite all of the women of the area (hoping to see Cinderella again), in addition to all of the Princesses in the surrounding areas.
Cinderella's dreams of going to the ball are thwarted by more cruelty from the witch who is her stepmother. Off she and the stepsister go to the ball. Poor Cinderella. Thankfully, C's fairy godmother shows up, makes her gorgeous and sends her to the ball with the admonition that all of this magic stuff wears off at midnight. She goes to the ball, is plucked from obscurity thanks to her incredible beauty, she and the Prince dance and fall immediately in love, and off she scurries at midnight, leaving only a shoe - a clue for the Prince to use to find her foot. Thankfully, there is not a single woman in the entire kingdom with whom she can share shoes because this glass slipper has been custom-made for her foot. Eventually they find each other and live happily ever... you know how it goes.
This nomination is for costuming and boy does it deserve it. From the ridiculous to the sublime, the saying goes, and every single stitch in this film is amazing. Cate Blanchett plays the evil stepmother (and speaking as a stepmother myself, these brothers Grimm and I need to talk about how they ruined it for all of us with this bad press), and her wardrobe in this film is even more amazing that Cinderella's herself. The costumes DO make this film bearable and I'm embarrassed to say (as a feminist who really thinks this whole story is absurd; come on Cinderella, stand up for yourself just once!), that I actually enjoyed it. I highly recommend going online to check out the costumes, if you appreciate the elegance of the time portrayed. They are truly special.