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On the Oscars: 2024 Nominations Predictions

In 2012, I started waking up at 8 am in the morning and watching the Oscars live (but on low volume) from the TV in my parents' room in Kolkata, India. A few years later, I would wake up at 5:30 am to catch the red carpet live and judge all the outfits in addition to the performances of the year.


The 2018 Oscars marked the first time that I could watch the ceremony live at a comfortable hour in the evening. A couple years later, I even started waking up early on that fateful Tuesday morning in January when they announce the nominations. Oh, it's always full of so many surprises. Twists and turns. Films and names I've never heard of.


Now, in 2024, to celebrate my twelfth successive year of this strange obsession with the Academy and all it strives to recognize, I have finally given into my mother, who's been telling me to write and share my thoughts about these silly little predictions I make every year.


But to make it more challenging for me, I have decided to do something I have never done before: make predictions for the NOMINATIONS. And a second layer: to do it for as many categories as possible. This is also made possible by the fact that I have been living in New York City for almost half a year now, which means easy and affordable access to the best film in the world... the best blessing that 2012 Ahon had never even dreamed of.


So this is me. Sharing my thoughts and opinions. With the... world?


The Academy announces their nominations live on Tuesday, January 23 at 8:30 am Eastern Time (US) / 7 pm Indian Standard Time.


 

Categories WITH no nomination predictions

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

BEST ANIMATED SHORT








 

nomination predictions without MANY MUSINGS (7)

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1.     Asteroid City

2.     Barbie

3.     Killers of the Flower Moon

4.     Oppenheimer

5.     Poor Things


Production set for Wes Anderson's Asteroid City.  


BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

1.     Golda

2.     Killers of the Flower Moon

3.     Maestro

4.     Oppenheimer

5.     Poor Things

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1.     Barbie

2.     Killers of the Flower Moon

3.     Poor Things

4.     The Color Purple

5.     Wonka


Osage costume design for Killers of the Flower Moon. 


BEST EDITING

1.     Anatomy of a Fall

2.     Barbie

3.     Oppenheimer

4.     Killers of the Flower Moon

5.     Poor Things

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1.     Oppenheimer

2.     Killers of the Flower Moon

3.     Maestro

4.     Poor Things

5.     The Zone of Interest

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

I’ve probably not watched enough to fill up the nominations in this pool, so I’m going to predict from what I have watched:

1.     Godzilla Minus One

2.     Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3

3.     Poor Things

 

Remember, Oppenheimer can’t get snubbed for this category because all of those bombs were real.

 

BEST SOUND

I feel sure about Barbie, Maestro, and Oppenheimer. And am going to go out on a limb and predict Napoleon (don’t watch the film, it’s not worth it, but the sound is magnificent). I honestly don’t know for the final spot… I haven’t watched it, but I feel a film like Ferrari should probably make an appearance in this category?


 

nomination predictions WITH MANY MUSINGS (12)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1.     The Boy and the Heron, Joe Hisaishi

2.     Killers of the Flower Moon, Robbie Robertson

3.     Oppenheimer, Ludwig Göransson

4.     Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Daniel Pemberton

5.     Poor Things, Jerskin Fendrix

 

I am still yet to watch The Boy and the Heron, but I hear this might be Hisaishi’s best, so I’m rooting for him! The Academy would be stupid not to nominate any of the others, so I’m considering them sure-shots.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Okay, I’m not going to waste my time with these because we know the eventual winner will probably be a song from Barbie. The fun part that I would like to predict is which Barbie songs are going to get nominated, because due to a rule established in 2008, a maximum of two songs can get nominated from a film.

 

So I’m going to predict Billie Eilish and Finneas for “What Was I Made For?” and Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt for “I’m Just Ken. I love love love Dua Lipa, more than I love “Dance the Night Away, and feel bad that it’s probably not going to make the cut.

 

They probably won’t make any appearances, but some of the originals from Theater Camp are absolute bops, especially “Show Announcements” and “Camp Isn’t Home. Justice for Joan!


Molly Gordon and Ben Platt presenting Joan, Still inTheater Camp


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1.     The Boy and the Heron

2.     Elemental

3.     Nimona

4.     Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

5.     Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

 

The Boy and the Heron and Spider-Man are the obvious sure-shots here. Wish has not been in the conversations much, beyond Ariana DeBose’s limited press for it, so I’m counting it out (but I guess, Disney can still wish for a surprise). I’m surprised people are still talking about Elemental… capitalism is something else. I am rooting for TNMT because it honestly was a great time (better than Elemental, to be sure, and certainly much more nuance than the silly The Super Mario Bros. Movie). And I’ve heard only good things about Nimona, which I am still yet to watch on Netflix.


The obviously queer Gwen Stacy (voiced by Hailee Steinfield)

in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. 


BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

I have watched some to predict that perhaps Fallen Leaves (Finland) and The Zone of Interest (Poland with UK/USA) will make the cut. Anatomy of a Fall will NOT because France did not submit this film to the Academy for consideration. So if you don’t see them the nominees list on Tuesday, it’s not a snub, it’s France’s dumb dumb.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1.     Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet & Arthur Harari

2.     The Holdovers, David Hemingson

3.     May December, Samy Burch & Alex Mechanik

4.     Past Lives, Celine Song

5.     Saltburn, Emerald Fennell

 

So stupid that Barbie was not eligible for this category when it has contested as an original screenplay in literally every other award show… including ones specifically for writers! I think Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers, and Past Lives are the sure-shots here. There were a lot of adapted screenplays this year, so the competition won’t be as fierce in this category as some other years (this is also why I don’t have a deserving surprise list for this category). Emerald Fennell won this category a few years ago for her debut Promising Young Woman, which makes me think she will at least get a nod here. I think the final race will probably come down to Anatomy of a Fall and Past Lives, and obviously I will be rooting for Celine Song all the way to the end.


Celine Song with Greta Lee shooting Past Lives.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1.     American Fiction, Cord Jefferson

2.     Barbie, Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach

3.     Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan

4.     Killers of the Flower Moon, Eric Roth & Martin Scorcese

5.     Poor Things, Tony McNamara

 

Deserving surprise: All of Us Strangers, Andrew Haigh


This category is fire. I think pretty much all of my prime five are sure-shots, but I will be so happy if someone gets snubbed so Haigh can make the cut. He deserves it!

 

Andrew Haigh with Andrew Scott shooting All of Us Strangers.


BEST DIRECTOR

1.     Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet

2.     Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorcese

3.     Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan

4.     Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos

5.     The Zone of Interest, Jonathan Glazer

 

Deserving surprises: Barbie, Greta Gerwig and Past Lives, Celine Song

 

Truly a bizarre year for cinema that Academy favourites such as Alexander Payne (The Holdovers; previously nominated for Election (1999) and won for The Descendants (2011) and Sideways (2004)) and Greta Gerwig (Barbie; previously nominated for Little Women (2019) and Lady Bird (2017)) might not make this list. And deserving returnees such as Andrew Haigh (All of Us Strangers) and feature debutantes such as Song (Past Lives) might not even have wiggle room. Crazy. This category is definitely going to have multiple snubs whether we as a society would like to accept that fact or not.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

1.     Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

2.     Robert DeNiro, Killers of the Flower Moon

3.     Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

4.     Ryan Gosling, Barbie

5.     Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

 

Deserving surprises: Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction and Charles Melton, May December

 

This list was pretty certain for me early on. Then recently, I watched American Fiction and May December and it was hard for me to imagine the Academy subbing any of the prime five for these two equally deserving nominees. Also note the prime five are five shades of white… yikes. So let’s especially hope for a little surprise magic here.

 

Additionally, just want to add here that Milo Machado Graner absolutely stole my heart with his magnificent performance in Anatomy of a Fall. In a normal year, he would have been recognized by the Academy. I’ll also throw in an honorary shoutout to Dominic Sessa for his debut in The Holdovers. Sadly, this is not their year.


The incomparable Milo Machado Graner in Anatomy of a Fall.

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

1.     Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer

2.     Jodie Foster, Nyad

3.     Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

4.     Julianne Moore, May December

5.     Rosamund Pike, Saltburn

 

Deserving surprises: America Ferrera, Barbie; Claire Foy, All of Us Strangers; and Sandra Hüller, The Zone of Interest

 

I originally had Ferrera as a sure-shot for this pool, especially because of all the much-deserved praise she has been getting in response to the film. Not to mention, the full throttle campaigning that Barbie has been doing to get her a nomination. But upon much deliberation, especially with my friend Maddy Mackarey, I have come to realize that the biggest strength behind Ferrera’s performance is the script. Once again, it is a shame that GG&NB might not win for their script since the Academy has foolishly put them in the Adapted Screenplay pool, but it is what it is. I am one of the biggest America Ferrera fans out here, and who knows, maybe there will be some surprise magic here as well.

 

Blunt, Joy Randolph, and Foster are pretty much certain to be nommed. And the Academy would be stupid not to nominate either Moore or Pike for their show-stealing performances.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

1.     Bradley Cooper, Maestro

2.     Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

3.     Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer

4.     Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers

5.     Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction

 

Deserving surprise: Teo Yoo, Past Lives

 

I think all but Scott are sure-shots in this pool. I had to put Teo Yoo in this deserving pool because Scott and Yoo were perhaps my favourite performances by male actors this year. Yes yes, Murphy was great, of course he was. I hope he wins, too. But for Scott, this is his first feature (can you believe it?) and All of Us Strangers is his film and he should be recognized for that. Meanwhile, the pain of Yoo’s performance is what makes his character Hae-sung—and, as a result, Hae-sung’s relationship with Greta Lee’s Nora—heart-breaking. The BAFTAs saw this. I hope the Academy sees it, too.

 

I guess the Award Szn Favourite for this category is Colman Domingo, Rustin. I still do not understand… why?! The film is terrible. Truly and utterly. I really do love Domingo otherwise, but I think he is fine in this. Just fine. His performance is definitely not superior to Scott’s or Yoo’s. Another Academy favourite to be wary of in this category is, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon. This is not your year, Leo. Not sorry.

 

Teo Yoo and Greta Lee in Past Lives.


BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

1.     Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

2.     Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall

3.     Carey Mulligan, Maestro

4.     Margot Robbie, Barbie 

5.     Emma Stone, Poor Things

 

Deserving surprise: Greta Lee, Past Lives 

 

Hot take warning: Sorry, Margot. I love you, I really do, but you should have been nominated for Babylon last year. I honestly do think Lee deserves this nomination more than Robbie, who should be recognized as a producer and project leader of the film and not for her performance as Stereotypical Barbie. Another hot take warning: other performances shone brighter for me in Barbie. Did I love Robbie? Yes, of course. But if I were voting for this category, I would vote for someone who has been working their entire life to get to this point and give them that recognition by way of an Oscar nomination rather than vote for someone who my Academy has already nominated several times before. But alas, I am not the Academy.

 

Anyhoo. I think Gladstone, Mulligan, and Stone are sure-shots. With all the press that Lee has been doing for Past Lives (probably comparable to Ferrera for Barbie? see that correlation?), I would assume that she is in, too. The Academy would be stupid not to recognize Hüller for her performance, either here or in the supporting pool for The Zone of Interest. In any other year, she would probably be nominated twice for both her roles (yeah, she’s simply that good). But this is no normal year for film. So expect at least one snub in this pool on Tuesday.

 

Speaking of surprises and snubs… sorry, Annette Bening, Nyad and Natalie Portman, May December… but your supporting actresses steal the show in both your films. Nominating either of them over the six above would probably be a greater crime.

 

BEST PICTURE

1.     American Fiction

2.     Anatomy of a Fall

3.     Barbie

4.     Killers of the Flower Moon

5.     The Holdovers

6.     Maestro

7.     Oppenheimer

8.     Past Lives

9.     Poor Things

10.  The Zone of Interest

 

Deserving surprise: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


I feel very good about this list! I think each of these ten pictures offers something different to, together, paint a pretty amazing portrait of this monumental year in contemporary cinema.


I have so many thoughts about each of these films (and more), so expect some more musings between the nominations announcements on Tuesday and the Oscars in March. Stay tuned! 

 

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