Image ©A.M.P.A.S.

The bake-off—also known as the Nominating Meeting of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—was held Saturday, Jan. 21 in Hollywood. At the meeting, members narrowed the teams of contenders for the Achievement in Makeup Oscar from seven to three. Each team of potential nominees introduced a 10-minute clip of the work, created in conjunction with the studio that released the film. The final films are Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II and The Iron Lady.

Leonard Engelman, governor of the academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch, reflected on what struck the branch’s members.

“What we see in all three films are tremendous transformations,” he said. “For Albert Nobbs, we were looking at the make-ups both for Glenn Close and Janet McTeer—the subtle transformations that took place were done with dental plumpers and beautiful wig work.

“In Iron Lady, again, we see a beautiful transition of Meryl Streep becoming Margaret Thatcher, going from different periods: Meryl in younger years, still with appliances and dentures, then when she got into older stages, there were a great deal of appliances that were beautifully done. In a short period of time, you stopped looking for the edges and just sat back and enjoyed it.

“With Harry Potter, there was great, great work all the way throughout, but especially when it got into the goblins in the bank. It’s beautiful work: each one is a different character, with all the hair punched and wigs used.

“Each year we have strong competition, but this year was one of the strongest in a long time—all seven of the films.”

Follow this link for details on the final nominated films.

The pre-Oscar make-up symposium, which is open to the public, will be held 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Admission is free but tickets are required; limit two tickets per person. Tickets will be available at on a first-come, first-served basis starting Feb. 1. The 84th Academy Awards presentation airs 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST Feb. 26 on ABC.