Sci-fi thriller District 9 and sweeping costume drama The Young Victoria don't appear in the same sentence very often, but they have something in common: Both are among the films shortlisted for the Best Makeup category at this year's Academy Awards. The other five finalists, announced by the Academy on Monday, are Il Divo, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, The Road, and Star Trek.

The makeup branch of the Academy will meet on Jan. 23 to watch 10-minute excerpts from all seven films, and then they'll vote to determine which three will actually be nominated. The studios are no doubt now busily at work choosing excerpts that best show off Spock's immaculate eyebrows, Viggo Mortensen's grimy face, and the horrible things that happen to the dude's arm in District 9.

If you're wondering about Il Divo, it's an Italian film in which actor Toni Servillo is made to look just like the man he portrays, politician Giulio Andreotti. In real life, the men look nothing alike. The marvelous makeup work is probably lost on most non-Italian viewers, who don't know Servillo or Andreotti, but apparently the Academy's makeup experts caught it.

And if you're wondering about the makeup in The Young Victoria, I don't know either. Again, probably one of those things that makeup experts notice while the rest of us think, "She just looks like a normal lady wearing normal makeup." Unless we're going to find out that Queen Victoria was actually played by Michael Caine rather than Emily Blunt, in which case I applaud the makeup artists' skill.