The Costume Designers Guild announced nominations for their 12th annual kudos in three categories of films: fantasy, contemporary and period. That latter category is where the majority of the eventual Oscar nominees originate. Both last year and in 2008, four of the CDG choices for period film costumes made the final five at the Oscars.
If that trend continues, fantasy nominee "Avatar" could well fill the final slot at the Academy Awards. After all, one of the costume designers on "Avatar" -- Deborah Lynn Scott -- won the Oscar in 1997 for her work on James Cameron's "Titanic." The other two fantasy films in the running with the CDG are “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (Monique Prudhomme) and "Star Trek" (Michael Kaplan).
Last year "The Duchess" -- a sumptuous period picture -- won both races, marking only the fifth time in 11 years that a CDG champ prevailed at the Oscars. Period pieces tend to win at the Oscars; the last fantasy film to prevail was "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" in 2003 while the last contemporary movie to win was "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" in 1994.
The five period nominees this year are:
“Coco Before Chanel” (Catherine Leterrier)
“Julie & Julia” (Ann Roth)
“Nine” (Colleen Atwood)
“Sherlock Holmes” (Jenny Beavan)
“The Young Victoria” (Sandy Powell)
Atwood is a two-time Oscar champ for her work on Rob Marshall's first two films -- "Chicago" and "Memoirs of a Geisha" -- while Powell has a pair of Oscars for "Shakespeare in Love" and "The Aviator." Beavan won an Oscar for "A Room With a View" while Roth took home hers for "The English Patient." Only Leterrier has never contended at the Oscars.
The five contemporary nominees are:
“(500) Days of Summer” (Hope Hanafin)
“Bruno” (Jason Alper)
“Crazy Heart” (Doug Hall)
“Precious” (Marina Draghici)
"Up in the Air" (Danny Glicker)
Photo: Scene from "Avatar." Credit: Fox