Female Filmmaker of the Month

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Tim Burton (Planet of the Apes remake notwithstanding), and one reason for that is because of the visual detail in his films. One of the people that helps Tim Burton create his fantastic visual worlds is Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, who collaborates with him frequently. If you watch the Oscars, you have probably seen this woman—but since the awarding of the “technical” categories tends to be a great time for snacking, trips to the bathroom, and mocking whoever is losing the Oscar pool, maybe not.

Here she is picking up her second Oscar, for Memoirs of a Geisha. Kind of a babe, huh? She’s almost 60!

Anyway, Atwood also has a cool Seattle connection, in that she was born and raised in Eastern Washington and then attended Cornish before moving to New York City to attend NYU film school and start her career. For the rest of this month, I’ll be doing some posts highlighting some of my personal favorite costumes from her huge body of work. And since Sweeney Todd was my favorite movie of 2007, and she received her 7th Oscar nomination and 7th BAFTA nomination for it, let’s start there.

Just a few of the best moments:

 Jacketless Johnny stands out from the crowd.

Joanna is one lovely, pure, natural color against a backdrop of oppressing gray.

Why, you’d have to be mad to wear that much black lace!

Is a trip to the beach like prison, or like freedom?

Much more to come from this accomplished woman, who seems to be working to become our generation’s Edith Head.

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2 Responses to “Female Filmmaker of the Month”


  1. 1 Carly September 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    well, she’s certainly rocking a new-century version of Edith’s hair…why do costume designers always have extreme hair? is it the obsession with line? or drape? and i know she isn’t a a filmmaker, but can we discuss how awesome kelly mcdonald is one of these days? because seriously, she’s awesome. i want her to be in everything. for now, i guess Choke will have to do.

  2. 2 Brandi Sperry September 17, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Oh, for the purposes of this blog, “filmmaker” can absolutely refer to someone who is solely an actress. It’s all about highlighting women who don’t get credit where credit is due, and Kelly Macdonald is certainly one of those women. She is consistent, talented, and underrated. I’ll bet the majority of people, if asked to name the main actors in No Country for Old Men, would easily get Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin, but have no idea of her name. Such a shame, as she is fantastic.


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Other projects:


Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

Grand Dames: collecting sundry achievements of admirable women

The MacGuffin: archive of my days as a film critic

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