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And The Oscar (Nomination) Goes To…

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The Oscar statue

After what feels like an exceptionally long awards season, we are just hours away from the 96th Academy Awards. Oscar voting closed on February 27th meaning our winner's fates have already been sealed into the envelopes waiting to be called out on Sunday 10th March. Now all that's left to do is for pundits to use this year's awards season data, past history and their own instincts to try and correctly predict which names and movies will be announced in all 23 categories.

What we already know from the precursors and the guilds is that Oppenheimer dominance will continue at the Oscars. Its wins for the top prizes at the Golden Globes, BAFTA, SAG, DGA and PGA are concrete evidence that Christopher Nolan's historical biopic blockbuster is guaranteed to be the biggest winner of the night — and perhaps in recent Oscars history. The question we should be asking ourselves is; just how big will Oppenheimer's windfall be? As of writing this piece, Oppenheimer is tracking to win somewhere between 7 and 10 of its whopping 13 nominations — including the top prize; Best Picture.

Last year's big winner Everything Everywhere All At Once collected 7 trophies — the most of any Best Picture winner at the Oscars since the expansion of the Best Picture category from 5 to 10 slots in 2009. Funnily enough, it was the public outcry towards the exclusion of Christopher Nolan's seminal masterpiece The Dark Knight from Best Picture the previous year which triggered the decision to expand the number of slots in the category.

Oppenheimer's broad support from all the different industry sectors suggests it could even top Everything Everywhere's insane haul. Its frontrunner status in direction, numerous tech departments as well as the two male acting categories have given it a conformable head start going into Oscars night. Interestingly it may all come down to the Sound category. If The Zone of Interest manages to pull off a win in Sound then Oppenheimer may have to settle for equalising Everything Everywhere's tally instead of topping it.

But if Oppenheimer collects the bulk of the awards, then where does that leave the rest of the movies from 2023? The lineup for Best Picture this year was one the strongest and most eclectic we've seen in recent years and pretty much all of the nominees (apart from Celine Song's Past Lives) are expected to win at least one prize. However, Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon could be his third film to receive 10 nominations and walk away empty-handed following Gangs of New York and The Irishman. All hope rests on Lily Gladstone's shoulders to triumph in Best Actress to secure a win for Killers.

Yorgos Lanthimos's Poor Things is in a precarious situation where it could win several prizes but it could also go home empty-handed. None of its categories where it is highly favoured are locked in. It faces fierce competition from Barbie in both Costume Design and Production Design. Emma Stone is neck-and-neck with Lily Gladstone for Best Actress. As for Hair and Makeup, it has to square off with the loudest transformational makeup of the year; Maestro. The most anticipated of the above-the-line categories (as usual) is Best Actress, with the battle between Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone somehow even closer than the nail-biting race between Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh last year.

As it stands, Gladstone has the best package to win. She has momentum as she won at the prior precursor; the Screen Actors Guild. Her last-minute win at the SAG awards indicates she has the support of the largest voting branch of the Academy; actors. She also has the added bonus of having a history-making narrative by being the first ever Indigenous American woman to ever be nominated and potentially win in this category. All those juicy factors combined have made her the bookie's favourite.

However, what's working against her is that when it comes to the Oscars, subtle internalised performances like Gladstone's rarely triumph. Will Emma Stone's showier, fearless and career-best performance of Bella Baxter be enough to trump Gladstone's quietly powerful role of Mollie
Burkhart? Pundits will be holding their breath until the moment the name is read out. Where we could also see as a surprise is in the screenplay categories. The 2023 Writers' Strike ended up delaying the Writers Guild Awards until April. Also with the switch of Barbie from Original to Adapted Screenplay, we now have a new unquantifiable variable to consider. Could thrice-previously nominated Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach pull off a surprise win for their unexpectedly layered comedy Barbie over frontrunner Cord Jefferson for his racial-satire American Fiction?

Justine Triet and Arthur Harari's Anatomy of a Fall is tipped to win Original screenplay but could a surprise be brewing in the form of David Hemingson's script for the beloved comedy The Holdovers or Celine Song's dignified and delicate screenplay for Past Lives? At this point, it's all to
play for.

Below are our resident awards expert Luke Hearfield's final predictions for the 2024 Academy Awards.


Best Picture

American Fiction
Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest


Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall
Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon
Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things
Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest

Lead Actor

Bradley Cooper – Maestro
Colman Domingo – Rustin
Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
Jeffery Wright – American Fiction

Lead Actress

Anette Bening – Nyad
Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall
Carey Mulligan – Maestro
Emma Stone – Poor Things

Supporting Actor

Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction
Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey Jr – Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling – Barbie
Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things

Supporting Actress

Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple
America Ferrera – Barbie
Jodie Foster – NYAD
Da'Vine Joy Randolph-  The Holdovers

Adapted Screenplay

American Fiction – Cord Jefferson
Barbie – Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach
Oppenheimer – Christopher Nolan
Poor Things – Tony McNamara
The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer

Original Screenplay

Anatomy of a Fall – Justine Triet & Arthur Harari
The Holdovers – David Hemingson
Maestro – Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer
May December – Samy Burch & Alex Mechanik
Past Lives – Celine Song


El Conde – Edward Lachman
Killers of the Flower Moon – Rodrigo Prieto
Maestro -Matthew Libatique
Oppenheimer – Hoyte Van Hoytema
Poor Things – Robbie Ryan


Anatomy of a Fall – Laurent Sénéchal
The Holdovers – Kevin Tent
Killers of the Flower Moon – Thelma Schoonmaker
Oppenheimer – Jennifer Lame
Poor Things – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Production Design

Barbie – Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer
Killers of the Flower Moon – Jack Fisk & Adam Willis
Napoleon – Arthur Max & Celia Bobak
Oppenheimer – Ruth De Jong & Claire Kaufman
Poor Things – Shona Heath & James Price

Costume Design

Barbie – Jacqueline Durran
Killers of the Flower Moon – Jacqueline West
Napoleon – David Crossman & Janty Yates
Oppenheimer – Ellen Mirojnick
Poor Things – Holly Waddington

Makeup and Hair

Poor Things
Society of the Snow

Original Score
American Fiction – Laura Karpman
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – John Williams
Killers of the Flower Moon – Robbie Robertson
Oppenheimer – Ludwig Göransson
Poor Things – Jerskin Fendrix

Original Song
American Symphony – “It Never Went Away”
Barbie – “I'm Just Ken”
Barbie – “What Was I Made For?”
Flamin' Hot – “The Fire Inside”
Killers of the Flower Moon – “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)”


The Creator
Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
The Zone of Interest


The Creator
Godzilla Minus One
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One

Documentary Feature

20 Days in Mariupol
Bobi Wine: The People's President
The Eternal Memory
Four Daughters
To Kill a Tiger

International Feature

Io Capitano (Italy)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Society of the Snow – Spain
The Teacher's Lounge – France
The Zone of Interest – United Kingdom

Animated Feature

The Boy and the Heron
Robot Dreams
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

Animated Short

Letter to A Pig
Ninety-Five Senses
Our Uniform
WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko

Documentary Short

The ABCs of Book Banning
The Barber of Little Rock
Island in Between
The Last Repair Shop
Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó

Live Action Short

The After
Knight of Fortune
Red, White and Blue
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar