Blue Jasmine, 12 Years A Slave and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were feted for their onscreen outfits at the Costume Designers Guild Awards in California on Saturday night (22Feb14). Costume designer Suzy Benzinger, who dressed Cate Blanchett for her role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, received the award for Excellence In Contemporary Film during the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, while 12 Years A Slave triumphed in the Period Film category.
The team behind Jennifer Lawrence's costumes in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was feted with the Excellence In Fantasy Film prize, and the TV categories were dominated by shows including British drama Downton Abbey (Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series) and House Of Cards (Outstanding Contemporary Television Series).
The lavish outfits worn by Michael Douglas in Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra scored the production a win in the Outstanding Made For Television Movie Or Miniseries category.
During the ceremony, actress Amy Adams was presented with the Lacoste Spotlight Award, which honours stars whose "talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design".
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).
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Writer/director Woody Allen chose to remain behind the camera for Whatever Works employing Larry David as his muse. The Curb Your Enthusiasm star plays a cranky pessimist who becomes the initially unwilling husband to a much MUCH younger Southern girl with a father fixation. But when her conservative mother arrives all hell breaks loose as Mom tries to drive her daughter away from the old guy and toward a much younger model. But New York City has a strange effect on everyone and soon everyone in this very disparate group learns the best things in life are really “whatever works.”
WHO’S IN IT?
Forgoing the umpteenth opportunity to play the May/December romance bit again Allen turns over the starring role to David in an inspired bit of casting about which it’s simply impossible to curb your enthusiasm. David given hilarious monologues that riff on life and border on a constant stream of doomsday analysis is perfect casting in Allen’s peculiar New York world. What’s most surprising is he actually creates a three-dimensional character we grow to care about even though the flow of one-liners rarely stops. As the super-conservative Southern yokel mother-in-law Patricia Clarkson is equally at home in Allen’s universe and takes the stereotypical role into unexpected places. As the innocent ex-beauty queen who bounces into David’s life Evan Rachel Wood practically channels a backwoods Tammy persona but somehow it works well enough for us to believe she could actually fall for such a cranky old man. Also of note is Ed Begley Jr.’s terrific turn as her pious father and estranged hubby of Clarkson who shows up near the end and defies all convention.
After a sojourn abroad first to England for his expert thriller Match Point and the less successful Scoop then to Spain for last year’s delightful Vicky Cristina Barcelona Allen returns triumphantly to his New York roots for the first time since 2004’s Melinda and Melinda. Despite the absence he hasn’t lost a beat when it comes to his very singular view of the Big Apple and its inhabitants. Casting David was the masterstroke that makes this one stand out as one of the prolific Allen’s (he turns out a film a year) most consistently amusing works in some time.
Whatever Works is very slight and feels more like one of the comedian’s New Yorker short stories than a fully fleshed-out motion picture. But when you’ve got this kind of sharp dialogue and these performers it’s hard to quibble about substance.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
Whatever works for you but if you’re a Woody Allen or Larry David fan it’s a must wherever you see it.