The Academy has shown great resistance to awarding costumes without corsets, though Marie Antoinette’s Milena Canonero did previously win for Chariots of Fire (with, apparently, jockstraps standing in for laced bustiers). Still, every now and again a contemporary collection will sneak through and provide the acceptance podium with its flashiest duds of the evening—namely, when Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel managed to upstage even The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’s feather boas and ping-pong balls with Gardiner’s “don’t leave home without it” AmEx gown. Given that the category’s only two legitimate “period piece” candidates—Marie Antoinette and Curse of the Golden Flower—represent either film’s sole nomination, it’s hard not to see this one going the way of either Dreamgirls (for making Jennifer Hudson’s body look appropriately fat in those girl-group paper dresses) or The Devil Wears Prada, a film which wears costume design on its sleeve as much as it wears its designer tag in the movie’s goddamned title. It’s a close call, and there is the possibility some voters may simply assume the cast just grabbed its entire wardrobe from the titular designer’s open warehouse. But when a film pins each character’s shift on their change of clothing, it’s damn near impossible to ignore. Now the trick is to simply figure out whether that last sentence was in reference to The Devil Wears Prada or Marie Antoinette.
Will Win: Marie Antoinette
Should Win: The Devil Wears Prada