18 February 2013 10:49 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

This Oscar season is all about evoking power and poetry in the costume designs for frontrunner "Anna Karenina" (Jacqueline Durran), "Les Misérables" (Paco Delgado), "Lincoln" (Joanna Johnston), "Mirror Mirror" (Eiko Ishioka), and "Snow White and the Huntsman" (Colleen Atwood). For starters, Tolstoy's immortal characters from "Anna Karenina" are trapped like dolls in a dollhouse. Indeed, costume and setting are boldly linked, which is why Durran's work is the Oscar favorite. Like her colleagues, she had to think metaphorically in terms of 19th century Russian aristocracy rotting from the inside out within the confines of a derelict theater. But rather than going with 19th century Russian designs, Durran wrestled with the notion of 1950s' couture per director Joe Wright's desires. "It was not something that I would undertake to stylize just from my own imagination, but it's a very »


- Bill Desowitz

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