Best Production Design
Most likely winner: Anna Karenina
2nd most likely winner: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
SSN Insight: The most recent past winners are all films with a magical, other-worldly feel as referenced by Hugo, Alice in Wonderland, Avatar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Anna Karenina eschews the grounded genre tendencies of historical period pieces in favor of a dreamy, theatrical expression of a classic. All of the past winners twist normal life into a fantastical vision and Anna Karenina is no different. The Hobbit is a long-shot potential spoiler as it shares similar elements with other past winners and its counterpart The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King previously won in this category.
Best Costume Design
Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood
Most likely winner: Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
2nd most likely winner: Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
SSN Insight: This Academy Award is overwhelmingly handed to historical, period pieces with a female lead which aligns seamlessly with Anna Karenina. Take a look at the past winners for evidence: The Young Victoria, The Duchess, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Marie Antoinette, and Memoirs of Geisha. Jacqueline Durran is now almost a lock for gold with an Outstanding Period Film Award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards. As The Artist and Chicago have also snagged statues, Les Misérables’ musical, period, and historical elements make it a suitable contender.