Final Oscar Predictions in 23 Categories: Everything You Need To Know

Final Oscar Predictions in 23 Categories: Everything You Need To Know

Final Oscar Predictions in 23 Categories

As we eagerly await the 96th Academy Awards, let’s delve into the final predictions for the Oscars in 23 captivating categories. The race is on from Best Picture to Best Director, and the anticipation is palpable.

As inevitable as “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) felt last year on its way to collecting seven Oscars, including Best Picture, this year’s frontrunner, Christopher Nolan’s historical epic “Oppenheimer” (Universal) also feels undeniable for at minimum seven Oscars including Best Picture and Director. With 13 Oscar nominations, the film has swept all the precursor awards, so its final Oscar take could be more than the seven it won at the BAFTAs. But it won’t win everything.

With “Oppenheimer,” Nolan delivered a captivating portrayal of a man, played by Cillian Murphy, grappling with the consequences of his actions globally. The film’s compelling narrative resonated with audiences worldwide, earning nearly $1 billion at the box office. Nolan’s commitment to authenticity led him to challenge his crew to achieve as much as possible in-camera, eschewing digital visual effects altogether. This decision resulted in the film not receiving a VFX nomination.

Featuring a cast of 73 speaking roles, including several recognizable actors, “Oppenheimer” also navigated the challenge of portraying 18 aging characters convincingly under the scrutiny of IMAX cameras.

Final Oscar Predictions in 23 Categories: Everything You Need To Know

Despite stiff competition from feminist comedies like “Barbie” and “Poor Things,” both boasting impressive box office numbers and multiple nominations, “Oppenheimer” stands out for its gravity and depth.

As for potential wins, Emma Stone’s performance in “Poor Things” could secure her a Best Actress award. However, if “Poor Things” fails to secure significant wins and “Barbie” sweeps categories like Costumes and Production Design, it could leave “Poor Things” with nothing. Despite garnering international support with five BAFTA wins, the film’s reception in the United States has been more polarized.

Greta Gerwig and Yorgos Lanthimos, both acclaimed directors, were notable omissions from the BAFTA nominations but secured spots in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) nominations, along with Christopher Nolan, who emerged victorious. Despite this recognition, Gerwig ultimately missed an Oscar nomination for directing. The Academy’s decision to categorize Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s screenplay from Original to Adapted, despite being based on an unwritten character, stirred sympathy within the industry, influencing the awards race.

Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction” presents formidable competition in the screenplay category, having consistently won precursor awards like the USC Scripter. Meanwhile, “Oppenheimer,” although a strong contender, faces stiff competition from other acclaimed films like “Barbie” and “Poor Things.”

Regarding technical categories, “Oppenheimer” is poised to dominate in cinematography, scoring, and editing. However, it faces tough competition from “Barbie” and “Poor Things” in Costume and Production Design.

Christopher Nolan’s British background has garnered international support for “Oppenheimer,” even in European territories. However, contenders like Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” and Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” are also strong contenders, each potentially securing multiple Oscar nominations.

A24’s backing of first-time director Celine Song’s “Past Lives” has generated buzz since its Sundance premiere. While it may miss out on major Oscar nominations, it could still be recognized at the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Feature and Director.

Final Oscar Predictions in 23 Categories: Everything You Need To Know

Martin Scorsese’s true crime saga “Killers of the Flower Moon” has garnered an impressive 10 Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Director, Actress (Lily Gladstone), and Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro). However, it may lose ground, with Gladstone potentially being the film’s sole victor.

Another contender in the Best Picture category, aligning with PGA nominations, is Alexander Payne’s holiday hit “The Holdovers.” It’s poised for recognition with nominations for Supporting Actress (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and possible wins for Comedy Globe and CCA winner Paul Giamatti.

Netflix’s formidable awards team secured numerous nominations across various categories. From “Rustin” (featuring Best Actor nominee Colman Domingo) to “Nyad” (boasting Best Actress Annette Bening and Best Supporting Actress Jodie Foster), and “Maestro” with seven nominations, including Best Picture and Original Screenplay (Bradley Cooper), the streaming giant is a force to be reckoned with. Potential wins for Netflix include Kazu Hiro for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (“Maestro”) and Wes Anderson for Best Live-Action Short (“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”).

The Academy’s voting dilemma remains: How many members have seen the nominated films? Fortunately, this year’s top contenders, “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” have enjoyed global box office success, ensuring broader viewership and potentially boosting interest in the awards ceremony on March 10.

Final Oscar Predictions in 23 Categories: Everything You Need To Know

Final Oscar Predictions

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store:

Best Picture: “Oppenheimer”

Spoiler: “The Zone of Interest”

Bottom Line: While “The Zone of Interest” initially showed promise after its December release, with a surge in attention, its momentum waned following three BAFTA wins. As a result, it’s unlikely to pose a significant challenge to the formidable “Oppenheimer,” especially considering Christopher Nolan’s track record following “Dunkirk.”

Best Director: Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”)

Spoiler: Yorgos Lanthimos (“Poor Things”)

Bottom Line: Despite “Poor Things” securing 11 Oscar nominations and competing with “Oppenheimer” in multiple craft categories, Christopher Nolan’s overdue recognition makes him the frontrunner for Best Director. Nolan’s past nomination for “Dunkirk” adds to the anticipation surrounding his potential win.

Best Actor: Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”)

Spoiler: Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”)

Bottom Line: Cillian Murphy’s commanding performance in “Oppenheimer,” coupled with his wins at the Globe (Drama), BAFTA, and SAG, positions him as the likely victor. While Paul Giamatti’s portrayal in “The Holdovers” is notable, the gravitas of Murphy’s role and his international support give him the edge.

Best Actress: Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)

Spoiler: Emma Stone (“Poor Things”)

Bottom Line: The Best Actress race is close, with Lily Gladstone’s early critical acclaim and wins balanced against Emma Stone’s subsequent victories at the CCA and BAFTA. However, Gladstone’s portrayal and her SAG win may tip the scales in her favor, potentially marking a significant moment for Native American representation.

Best Supporting Actor: Robert Downey, Jr. (“Oppenheimer”)

Spoiler: Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”)

Bottom Line: Robert Downey, Jr.’s powerful performance in “Oppenheimer,” combined with his compelling comeback narrative, positions him as the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor. While Ryan Gosling shines in “Barbie,” Downey’s dramatic role gives him the edge in this category.

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”)

Spoiler: Jodie Foster (“Nyad”)

Bottom Line: Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s impressive sweep of awards, including Critics Choice, Globe, BAFTA, and SAG, positions her as the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress. Her portrayal of a grieving mother in “The Holdovers” resonated deeply with audiences and critics alike, making her first Oscar nomination likely to result in a win. While Jodie Foster’s return to the spotlight in “Nyad” garnered attention, Randolph’s consistent acclaim gives her the edge in this category.

Best Original Screenplay: Justine Triet and Arthur Harari (“Anatomy of a Fall”)

Spoiler: David Hemingson (“The Holdovers”)

Bottom Line: “Anatomy of a Fall” secured wins at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs for Best Original Screenplay, positioning it as a strong contender for the Oscar. Meanwhile, David Hemingson’s transition from television to film with “The Holdovers” marks a notable debut, with his heartfelt script resonating with audiences. While “Barbie” faces tougher competition in the Adapted Screenplay category, Hemingson’s genuine and sincere storytelling could secure him the Oscar win.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Cord Jefferson (“American Fiction”)

Spoiler: Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach (“Barbie”)

Bottom Line: Initially perceived as a showdown between “Barbenheimer,” the emergence of “American Fiction” as a dominant force in writing awards has added a twist to the race. Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of Percival Everett’s “Erasure” has garnered widespread acclaim, winning accolades at the CCA, BAFTA, Indie Spirit, and Scripter Awards. While “Barbie” presents a divisive narrative, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s inventive storytelling earned them recognition at the CCA for Original Screenplay. With Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of “Oppenheimer” also in the mix, this category promises to be a three-way battle.

Also Read: Everything You Need to Know About the 96th Oscars

Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Spoiler: “The Boy and the Heron”

Bottom Line: The sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is a strong contender in this category, given its commercial success and critical acclaim. However, Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” presents formidable competition, having garnered attention as a sleeper hit in both Japan and North America. Despite the rivalry, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is favored to secure the win.

Best Animated Short: “War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko”

Spoiler: “Letter to a Pig”

Bottom Line: The Oscar for Best Animated Short typically goes to the most accessible or emotionally resonant entry. This year, “War Is Over!” by Pixar alumnus Dave Mullins depicts a chess game played across enemy lines with the help of a heroic carrier pigeon, which is favored to win. However, “Letter to a Pig” by Tal Kantor, winner of the Animation Is Film Festival Grand Prize, offers a poignant narrative through elegant line drawings, telling the story of a Holocaust survivor who expresses gratitude to the pig that saved his life.

Best Cinematography: “Oppenheimer”

Spoiler: “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Bottom Line: Hoyte van Hoytema, winner of the ASC award, is a strong contender for his delicate cinematography in “Oppenheimer,” shot with massive IMAX cameras. However, Rodrigo Prieto, a three-time Oscar nominee, campaigned for both “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Barbie,” making the competition challenging in this category.

Best Costume Design: “Poor Things”

Spoiler: “Barbie”

Bottom Line: The battle for Best Costume Design pits BAFTA winner “Poor Things” against CCA winner “Barbie.” “Barbie” showcases Mattel’s fashion history, tailored to characters like Barbie (played by Margot Robbie) and Ken (played by Ryan Gosling). On the other hand, “Poor Things” takes a bold and provocative approach to outfitting its characters, mainly Victorian free spirit Bella Baxter, played by Emma Stone. While both films offer unique perspectives, “Poor Things” may have an edge with its originality.

Best Documentary Feature: “20 Days at Mariupol”

Spoiler: “Bobi Wine: The People’s President”

Bottom Line: It’s a two-way race between two films that placed their respective filmmakers in grave danger: Mstyslav Chernov’s BAFTA and DGA winner “20 Days at Mariupol” (PBS), which documents the devastatingly destructive start of the Ukraine War and IDA winner Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo’s “Bobi Wine: The People’s President” (NatGeo), about an Afrobeat star who dares to run against the brutal dictatorship in Uganda, and gets thrown into prison repeatedly for his popularity.

Best Documentary Short: “The ABCs” of Book Banning”

Spoiler: “The Last Repair Shop”

Bottom Line: HBO veteran Sheila Nevins earned her first Oscar nomination at age 84 for MTV Documentary Films’ agitprop protesting book censorship in the United States. Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers’ “The Last Repair Shop” (Searchlight) is a moving portrait of the dedicated folks who repair instruments for the LA Unified School District.

Best Editing: “Oppenheimer”

Spoiler: “Anatomy of a Fall”

Bottom Line: BAFTA, CCA, and ACE winner Jennifer Lame will take this for Nolan’s artfully executed historical drama. Triet’s French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall,” with five Oscar nominations, landed a nomination in this category, a sign of strength. This film has support from international voters.

Best Live Action Short: “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”

Spoiler: “Invincible”

Bottom Line: Wes Anderson may be taking a slot from the usual emerging filmmaker, but the theatrical delights of his Roald Dahl adaptation are undeniable. Artfully executed French Canadian “Invincible” is a strict watch.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Maestro”

Spoiler: “Poor Things”

Bottom Line: With seven nominations, this could be “Maestro”‘s only win and mark a third Oscar for Kazu Hiro. “Poor Things” took the BAFTA in this category so that that win could repeat here.

Best Production Design: “Barbie”

Spoiler: “Poor Things”

Bottom Line: Often, the craft winners at the BAFTAs repeat at the Oscars – this year, the British film “Poor Things” won four crafts – but at the Oscars, “Barbie” could take both Costumes and Production Design.

Best Original Score: “Oppenheimer”

Spoiler: “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Bottom Line: Ludwig Göransson’s violin-leaning score is the favorite, having won the Globes, Critics Choice, and BAFTAs, but there is sentiment for the late indigenous musician Robbie Robertson’s last score, for his old friend Scorsese.

Best Original Song: “What Was I Made For?”

Spoiler: “I’m Just Ken”

Bottom Line: “Barbie” should mark a win for Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, who know how to campaign for a song, although Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s Ken song boasts supporters and Ryan Gosling will perform at the Oscars. If the two “Barbie” songs split, another nominee could walk away with the Oscar.

Best Sound: “The Zone of Interest”

Spoiler: “Oppenheimer”

Bottom Line: With extraordinary sound design by Johnnie Burn, “The Zone of Interest” is poised to take home the Oscar for Best Sound, reminiscent of past winners like “Whiplash” and “The Sound of Metal.” However, “Oppenheimer” also presents intense competition in this category.

Best Visual Effects: “Godzilla Minus One”

Spoiler: “The Creator”

Bottom Line: Despite being pulled from theaters, “Godzilla Minus One” could still secure the VFX Oscar, potentially gaining wider recognition. However, “The Creator,” with its impressive VFX accomplishments relative to its budget, stands as a formidable competitor, especially considering its wider accessibility to Academy voters.

Remember, the Oscars are fluid, subject to buzz and events. Let’s celebrate the magic of cinema on Sunday, March 10, 2024!

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