'Dunkirk,' 'Darkest Hour' win specialist awards ahead of Oscars

World War II films "Dunkirk" and "Darkest Hour" strengthen their positions at the Cinema Audio Society and Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild awards ceremonies respectively.

"Dunkirk" and "Darkest Hour" are going into the 90th Academy Awards on March 4, 2018 with a strong chance of taking the Oscars for Best Sound Mixing and Makeup & Hairstyling, respectively.

"Dunkirk" won the Cinema Audio Society's motion picture award on Saturday February 24, while "Darkest Hour" -- which sees the prosthetics-laden Best Actor Oscar frontrunner Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill -- won both Special Makeup Effects and Best Period/Character Makeup at the Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards the same day.

The Cinema Audio Society's motion picture award has led to the Sound Mixing Oscar on 12 out of 24 occasions.

At the Oscars, "Dunkirk" has been nominated alongside "Baby Driver," "Blade Runner 2049," "The Shape of Water" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" for Sound Mixing as well as Sound Editing.

All but "Blade Runner 2049" had been put forward for the CAS award.

By contrast, the MA&HS Guild runs a more granular set of motion picure award categories with five separate groupings for Contemporary Make-up, Period and/or Character Make-up, Special, Contemporary Hair, Styling and Period and/or Character Hair Styling.

Still, "Darkest Hour" was preferred to fellow Oscar nominee "Wonder," while the Academy's third consideration was not one of the Guild finalists.