Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Allied - 1 nomination and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - 2 nominations

Costume Design - Joanna Johnston

Allied is the story of a World War 2 Canadian spy, Max Vatan, who works for the British government. When partnered in Morocco with another spy, the beautiful Marianne Beausejour, the two pull off the assassination of the German ambassador and several prominent nazis.  In the midst of the operation, they fall in love.  They return to Britain and begin a more normal life together, while he continues to work for military intelligence.  Suddenly, some intel is delivered to Vatan's superiors that his wife isn't who she says she is, and that she is actually a spy working for the Germans.  Vatan believes in her innocence, and does everything he can to prove that she is trustworthy.  It's a fun film with great intrigue and suspense, and the costumes are indeed beautiful.  Period pieces always do well in this category.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Costume Design - Colleen Atwood
Production Design - Stuart Craig (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

We are back in the magical world of Harry Potter, long before young Potter is born.  In these early days, magical people in New York have been threatened by a dangerous magician and outlaw. Meanwhile, Newt Scamander has arrived in the United States on his way to deliver a beast to an environment where he is more suited to live.  Scamander also discovers an insane protestor against magic (though she is right that it exists) who has been oppressive to the foster children in her care, only causing one of those magical children to build up a powerful and deadly rage that threatens not only her, but the city, as well.  

Not since Avatar have magical creatures appeared so fantastic on screen.  The world of beauty that is created in Fantastic Beasts is unbelievably captivating.  I was surprised that this film didn't receive a visual effects nomination just for the beasts!  The genius of the costume and production designs are that they are both period pieces (always do well in these categories) AND set in a world of magic, which I'm sure allowed these talented artists to go wild with imagination limited only by whatever budget constraints they were given.

Now, I'm a serious Potter fan so this world doesn't quite live up to the main tome of J.K. Rowling books, but it is the nearest facsimile thereof and I highly recommend it.

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