I'm all for these guild awards, with their specific categories and distinct recognitions, but I'm not sure I understand the Costume Designer Guild's honor for "Distinguished Actor." If the reasoning is that the recipient of this award is someone who looks good in costumes, or makes costume designers look good, then Helen Mirren makes sense as this year's winner. But this reason doesn't explain why the guild is also giving Sandra Bullock an award. Suddenly, the logic falls apart -- especially for anyone who has seen Miss Congeniality 2.
The costume designers don't need to give actors any more praise. And Mirren certainly doesn't need any more trophies this year. To me, the guild's recognition of the different genres of costume design is interesting and appealing enough without some unnecessary star-kissing.
The categories for the Costume Designer Guild Awards separately acknowledge achievements for modern costume, period costume and fantasy costume. The lumping of these genres together into the Best Costume Design Oscar doesn't give credit to the differences between them, and it often ignores the difficulty of modern costuming, which many people assume is as easy as the everyday act of getting dressed in the morning.
Even with the knowledge that there is in fact work involved in modern costume design, the flashier modern costumes are likely the more obvious winner. Therefore The Devil Wears Prada is the best bet for the winner of that category (I think it will also get an Oscar nom). The other films in the category are Little Miss Sunshine, Casino Royale, Babel and The Queen.
For period design, my prediction is that Marie Antoinette will win. It wouldn't be my pick, because I found the costumes generic, even with the creative modern touches, but the guild will probably appreciate the genre-bending. The other nominees are The Illusionist, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Dreamgirls and The Curse of the Golden Flower.
Finally, my favorite category, the one I was most interested in pursing a career in as a young artist: fantasy costuming. First of all, I want to point out the strange classification that puts Pirates in the period category and The Fountain and Pan's Labyrinth in this one (all could be either, or both, I'd imagine). I'd also like to remind any guild members reading this that the uniforms in the X-Men movies are nothing compared to those featured in the comic books. Anyway, my guess for the winner here is The Fountain. The other unmentioned nominees are V for Vendetta, X-Men: The Last Stand and Eragon.
My pick for the Oscar noms: Devil, Fountain, Marie, Dreamgirls and Curse.