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Can 'The Reader's' makeup wizard Ivana Primorac finally nab an Oscar nomination?

January 18, 2009 |  1:47 pm

Kate Winslet knows how much award voters appreciate roles that showcase a character aging. When she won the Golden Globe for "The Reader" last week, she made a special point of saluting the film's hair and makeup crew by name, saying, "Thank you for making me look so ... old."

Saturday, at the Hollywood Museum, I caught up with "The Reader's" makeup chief, Ivana Primorac,  immediately after she attended the Oscars' bake-off session at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She's currently among the seven semi-finalists to become one of the three nominees for best makeup when Academy Awards bids are unveiled Thursday.

She's made the bake-offs several times in the past, for "The Hours," "Cold Mountain" and "Sweeney Todd," but hasn't yet been nominated. Now she's got a great shot, considering how obviously Kate Winslet ages on screen. Oscar voters are often suckers for that, of course. Last year, Jan Archibald prevailed for aging Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf so effectively in "La Vie en Rose."

So what happens during the Oscars' bake-off sessions? We asked Ivana to take us behind the scenes of both the Oscars process and how she plied her craft behind the screen on "The Reader" and other films. Most appropriately, we chatted in front of the museum's display of costumes and props from "Sweeney Todd."

Below is Kate Winslet's acceptance speech for "The Reader" at the Golden Globes.

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