I guess the remaining titles are pretty easy to guess. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is the movie I want to win. It has a great look combining the modern day with a bygone era with the carriage, not to mention the fantasy world of the Imaginarium. It just has a very unique look and feel. However, the winner will likely be Avatar. The science fiction epic has a great look and design that is a marvel to behold. It is also probably the most involved film with regards to the art direction as much of it had to be created from scratch.
Next up is Best Costume Design. This award was created in 1947 and was awarded to Roger K. Furse for Hamlet for black and white films and to Dorothy Jeakins and Barbara Karinska for Joan of Arc for color films. The awards history mirrors that of Art Direction with the color/black and white separation until 1967.
This year's nominees are: Bright Star: Janet Patterson, Coco avant Chanel: Catherine Leterrier, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: Monique Prudhomme, Nine : Colleen Atwood, The Young Victoria : Sandy Powell
I am not sure who will win this category. It doesn't help that I have only seen one of the nominated features. That being true, I am going to try to whittle them down anyway. I am going to discount The Young Victoria, mainly because I am not the biggest fan of the period drama, but also because what little I have seen just did not impress me. Bright Star does not strike me as a winner either, although I know nothing about it. Coco avant Chanel could be a competitor — Audrey Tautou makes all of her costumes look good.
In the end, I suspect that Nine will take the prize. The costume work is very good. Everyone looks great in their stylized costumes in the musical. However, I think a case could be made for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. The Terry Gilliam film has a great look from the worn rags to the stage costumes to those in the Imaginarium. It goes hand in hand with the art direction. There really was nothing quite like it during the year.