Director: Gore Verbinski
Nominated: Make-up and Hair; Visual Effects
I was a bit skeptical about The Lone Ranger, unfairly due to having watched the awful Dark Shadows (2012, Tim Burton) … something I never thought I’d say of a Depp and Burton collaboration, and was actually pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the film is.
Depp returns to the role of lovable fool as Tonto, albeit with obvious echoes of Captain Jack Sparrow. And he is back on spectacular form too. His make-up is striking and memorable with the usual level of detail that he infuses his characters with. Despite Helena Bonham Carter being prominent on all the marketing images she has hardly any time on screen. Her character’s prosthetic leg is beautiful with such detail in the design. Like Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Depp is also transformed into a much older version of his character with a rather impressive three-quarter body prosthetic. He becomes almost unrecognizable as Depp underneath it all.
Tonto is easily the most amusing aspect of The Lone Ranger and has a delightful ‘odd couple’ relationship with Armie Hammer’s John Reid who ultimately becomes the infamous Lone Ranger. The film after all is a transformation from Reid’s somewhat proper lawyer to the renowned outlaw for justice with the aid of a slightly crazy Native American in the form of Tonto.
The visual effects are unnoticeable which is actually what you want them to be. If you don’t notice any visual effects then you know they’ve been done well. And Verbinski is a director who tries to do as much physically in camera as he possibly can which adds to the sense of realism. Good film with many fun elements but I can’t see it even coming close to getting the Oscar for Visual Effects as it seems guaranteed Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron) will win that one.