Magazine article Variety

'Ove' vs. Goliaths: Underdog Hopes to Unseat the Favorites

Magazine article Variety

'Ove' vs. Goliaths: Underdog Hopes to Unseat the Favorites

Article excerpt

THE ARTISANS WHO transform our beloved characters through makeup and hairstyling weren't always part of Oscar history. It took the Academy over 50 years to recognize achievement in makeup with its own category starting in 1981.

Prior to that date, only two honorary awards were handed out: one to William Tuttle in 1964 for "7 Faces of Dr. Lao" and the other to John Chambers' "Planet of the Apes" in 1968. But when the Academy snubbed makeup designer Christopher Tucker's imaginative work on 1980's "The Elephant Man," the craftpushed for a change and a competitive category for makeup was added. Hairstyling joined the category title in 2013.

In the past two years we've seen major motion pictures go up against little- known films. While 2015's "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" did not win, its nomination surprised everyone. This season, "A Man Called Ove" has claimed the spot with nominations for the same two artists: Eva von Bahr and Love Larson.

The Swedish husbandand- wife team admit it might be a little bit unfair going up against films with generous budgets, but it's still special to be nominated. What captured Oscar voters is the realistic palette created for the character Ove, a grumpy old man played by Rolf Lassgård. "It was the biggest challenge for us," says von Bahr. "Ove is this balding, older man and Rolf doesn't look anything like the character. He actually has a full head of hair and is quite youthful."

A prosthetic piece helped to "remove" Lassgård's hair. Colored contacts and makeup distinguish the different ages of his life in the film. Larson and von Bahr further drove the sense of believability by brushing characters with subtle, realistic makeup to match the feel of the smalltown neighborhood in which they reside.

During flashbacks, when Ove is younger, the team wanted the look to be more glamourous and dreamlike. "We were only a four-person crew," says Larson. "We were able to spend time prepping and dressing the wigs before each day of shooting, but on a film like this we cannot afford to do digital cleanup so what you see is what you get."

"Ove" is up against two much larger films, "Suicide Squad" and "Star Trek Beyond."

The nominated team of Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, and Christopher Nelson behind "Suicide Squad" referenced the original comics to design character aesthetics. "We didn't want to make an exact copy, but rather find something different, something real," says Bertolazzi. …

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