Sunday, March 10, 2024

2024 Oscars: My Predictions in the Top 8 Categories

Here is my annual prediction post for the 2023 Oscars, i.e. the 96th Academy Awards. I really just consider the Top 8 categories on the blog but I often play the Oscar prediction game like lots of other people (on other websites) where I think about all of the categories. I generally split my predictions into who I want to win versus (i.e. who I would vote for) as opposed to who I think will win (i.e. who the Academy voters will vote for).

In 2023 I predicted five of the top eight correctly. This year I have seen nine of the (bolded) 10 Best Picture nominees (haven't seen Killers of the Flower Moon and I don't really intend to). Five of the nine we saw on streaming (either Amazon Prime or Netflix).

Best Picture:
  • "American Fiction" 
  • "Anatomy of a Fall" 
  • "Barbie"
  • "The Holdovers"
  • "Killers of the Flower Moon
  • "Maestro"
  • "Oppenheimer"
  • "Past Lives"
  • "Poor Things"
  • "The Zone of Interest"

I have been a Christopher Nolan fan boy since his film Memento broke my brain in the early 2000s. I literally listen to the soundtrack of either Interstellar, Inception or The Dark Knight on every single flight I take. I am very psyched that Oppenheimer led the nominations this year with13 (Poor Things close behind with 11) and very confident this will be his year to win Picture and Director.

SHOULD WIN: Oppenheimer.
WILL WIN: Oppenheimer.

  • 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”)
If this award was for "Most Directing" than Lanthimos would win for Poor Things. But Nolan won the DGA and there is a critial consensus his time has come (he's actually overdue, in my mind!)

SHOULD WIN: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer.
WILL WIN: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer.

Lead Actor:
  • Bradley Cooper(“Maestro”)  
  • Colman Domingo (“Rustin”) 
  • Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”)
  • Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) 
  • Jeffrey Wright (“American Fiction”) 
It is a very rare occasion when there are two Black men in the Best Actor race, and they are both very deserving to be here, albeit at veru different stages of their career. I wish I could say one of them is going to win, but Cillian Murphy is pretty much a lock this year, having won most of the precursor awards that matter (Golden Globe and SAG). That being said, if I had a vote, I would vote for Jeffrey Wright, as  a career appreciation award, with Giamatti a close behind. The performance that I thought was the most amazing was Bradley Cooper's--he completely inhabits the role of Leonard Bernstein and your forget that Cooper is playing the role.

SHOULD WIN: Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction or Bradley Cooper, Maestro.
WILL WIN: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer.

Lead Actress:
  • Annette Bening (“Nyad”) 
  • Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) 
  • Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”)
  • Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”) 
  • Emma Stone (“Poor Things”)
Only Emma Stone has won an Oscar before and she is the frontrunner for her revelator performance in Poor Things. But does she really belong in the pantheon of Double Best Actress winners like Katharine Hepburn (4), Meryl Streep (2), Jodie Foster (2), Sally Field (2) and Frances McDormand (3)? I have my doubts. This is why I think they Lily Gladstone will win as the first Native American winner, one year after Oscar crowned the first Asian American winner. However, if I was voting, I would give it to Hüller, whom I had never seen before this year and who is absolutely stunning in two European films this year that are noinated for Best Picture: The Zone of Interest and Anatomy of a Fall.
 SHOULD WIN: Sandra Huller, Anatomy of a Fall.
WILL WIN: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon.

Supporting Actor:
  • Sterling K. Brown (“American Fiction”) 
  • Robert DeNiro  (“Killers of he Flower Moon”) 
  • Robert Downey, Jr. (“Oppenheimer”)
  • Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”) 
  • Mark Ruffalo (“Poor Things”) 
Here DeNiro has (of course) won Oscars before, including in this category and been nominated  a total of 9 times. This is Sterling K. Brown's first Oscar nomination but he has won 3 Emmy awards. The frontrunner is Downey, and he is a key reason why Oppenheimer works so well despite its 3-hour running time. Ruffalo is devouring the scenery in Poor Things, and going against his type as an affable guy. But if I was voting I would vote for Gosling's Ken, without which Barbie would not be as effective at all.

SHOULD WIN: Ryan Gosling, Barbie
WILL WIN: Robert Downey, Jr., Oppenheimer.

Supporting Actress:
  • Emily Blunt (“Oppenheimerr”) 
  • Danielle Brooks (“The Color Purple”) 
  • America Ferrera (“Barbie”)
  • Jodie Foster (“Nyad”) 
  • Da'Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”)
Again, very psyched to see two black actors in the same category! This time one of them is the rontrunner: Randolp has won most of the precursor awards and she is one of the best things about The Holdovers--without her it would have been basically been a TV movie.

SHOULD WIN: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers.
WILL WIN: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers.

Adapted Screenplay:
  • “American Fiction,” Written for the screen by Cord Jefferson
  • “Barbie,” Written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach
  • “Oppenheimer,” Written for the Screen by Christopher Nolan
  • “Poor Things,” Screenplay byTony McNamara
  • “The Zone of Interest,” Written by Jonathan Glazer 
This is one category Oppenheimer is definitely going to lose, because Nolan is definitely going to win Director and there's no reason to give him THREE Oscars (since he will lamost certainly win Best Picture as well). American Fiction is the standout here, although if Oscar voters may want to make sure that the creative force behind the Billion Dollar Barbie movie gets some recognition, this is their prime opportunity to do so.
SHOULD WIN: American Fiction.
WILL WIN: Barbie.

Original Screenplay:
  • “Anatomy of a Fall,” Screenplay by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari
  • “The Holdovers,” Written by David Hemingson
  • “Maestro,” Written by Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer
  • “May December,” screenplay by Samy Burch; story by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik
  • “Past Lives,” Written by Celine Song
I love when directors are also screenwiters and in this case Past Lives, Anatomy of a Fall and Maestro fit the bill. I didn't see May December (but intended to, and still do) but in my opinion the strongest of the bunch is Anatomy of a Fall. It looks like it must be based on prior material, but it's a completely original idea--very well-executed by Triet, who becomes one of the few women in Oscar history to be nominated for Directing.
SHOULD WIN: Anatomy of a Fall.
WILL WIN: Anatomy of a Fall.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin