The wardrobe wizards behind films like Blue Jasmine, Nebraska, 12 Years A Slave and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire have all landed nominations for the 16th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. Blue Jasmine's Suzy Benzinger and Nebraska's Wendy Chuck will compete with Casey Storm (Her), Consolata Boyle (Philomena) and Sarah Edwards (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) for the Excellence in Contemporary Film honour, while 12 Years a Slave's Patricia Norris, Michael Wilkinson (American Hustle), Kurt & Bart (Dallas Buyers Club), Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby) and Daniel Orlandi (Saving Mr. Banks) are up for the Excellence in Period Film trophy.
Trish Summerville, who created to costumes for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has landed an Excellence in Fantasy Film nod opposite Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor and Bob Buck (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) and Gary Jones and Michael Kutsche (Oz the Great and Powerful)
Among the TV series nominated: Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Nashville, Saturday Night Live, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones.
The awards will be handed out at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on 22 February (14).
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The movie's costume designer Jacqueline Durran has teamed up with bosses at U.S. retailer Banana Republic to create a holiday collection, based on the drama's 19th-century fashions.
Banana Republic Creative Director Simon Kneen tells the New York Daily News, "As we began designing this Holiday collection, we found ourselves very inspired by the elegance typical of the Anna Karenina time period. With Jacqueline's clear expertise and extensive knowledge of the era, it was a dream to have her as part of the styling and editing process, which allowed us to curate a capsule that embodies the film's mood."
The range will feature fashions for both men and women and hit North American stores in October (12) to coincide with the film's official release.
Anna Karenina, about a married woman who has an affair with a soldier, isn't the first movie to spawn its own clothing line - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's costume designer Trish Summerville created a collection for clothing chain H&M based on Rooney Mara's character Lisbeth Salander last year (11).
Summerville created actress Rooney Mara's wardrobe for David Fincher's much-anticipated new film and now her designs are being made available for fans of Mara's bondage-gothic look.
The new H&M line, which will hit stores in November and December (11), features 30 items inspired by abused computer hacker Salander's look.
Summerville says, "We took her basic pieces that we used throughout the film and did a little more fashionable version for H&M."