Hungarian Zsuzsa Mihalek wins Oscar for production design

(Searchlight Pictures)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Hungarian production designer Zsuzsa Mihalek won a joint Academy Award for her work in the U.S. steampunk black comedy “Poor Things,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo.

The award is traditionally shared with the other production designers of a movie, so the Oscar for “Best Production Design” went to James Price, Shona Heath, and Zsuzsa Mihalek.

Mihalek had also previously won the British film prize, the BAFTA, for her work on “Poor Things,” but was not in London to accept the award. When accepting the award, Price and Heath mentioned that they regretted that “Zsuzsi,” the Hungarian’s nickname, was not there.

Two years ago, Zsuzsanna Sipos won in the same category as a set designer. In 2022, however, the Oscar organizers decided to delay the presentation of the awards in several technical categories so that journalists on the spot learned of Sipos’ victory before those watching the gala at home.

Zsuzsa Mihalek started her career as a decorator in the 1980s, working on Hungarian films such as “Csinibaba,” “Werckmeister Harmonies,” and “Argo.” She has also worked as a set designer in several international productions shot in Hungary (“Atomic Blonde;” “Tinker, Taylor,” “Soldier Spy;” and the horror thriller “Don’t Breathe”).

The principal filming of “Poor Things” took place in Origo Studios in Budapest in the second half of 2021.

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