Ah, the glitz, the glamour, and the golden statuettes! The Oscars are just around the corner, and as we eagerly anticipate the red carpet shenanigans and the triumphant speeches, it’s time to dive deep into the nominations and place our bets on the crème de la crème of Hollywood.

94th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage
Source: Getty Images)

Best Picture

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

The race for the coveted Best Picture Oscar is nothing short of a cinematic buffet, offering a delectable array of genres and narratives that have graced the silver screen. From the intricate storytelling of Anatomy of a Fall to the cultural phenomenon that is Killers of the Flower Moon, the competition is fierce.

At the forefront of this epic battle are Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending masterpiece Oppenheimer and Martin Scorsese‘s opulent Killers of the Flower Moon. Initially, the odds seemed in favor of Scorsese’s sweeping saga, but as the awards season unfolded, Nolan’s cerebral odyssey gained momentum, earning him sweeping accolades at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

While The Holdovers and Poor Things showcase compelling narratives and The Zone of Interest adds an international flavor, the narrative dominance of Oppenheimer positions it as the frontrunner. It’s not just a movie; it’s an intellectual expedition that seems poised to clinch the top honor.

Predicted winner: Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer (2023)
Source: InReview

Best Director

  • 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

In the dazzling arena of Best Director, we witness a clash of cinematic titans. Justine Triet’s deft touch in Anatomy of a Fall, Yorgos Lanthimos’ eccentricity in Poor Things, and Jonathan Glazer’s visual prowess in The Zone of Interest add layers to this artistic tapestry.

Yet, the battle lines are drawn between the seasoned maestro Martin Scorsese and the visionary Christopher Nolan. Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon promises a visual feast, while Nolan’s Oppenheimer takes us on an intellectual rollercoaster. The mind games continue, but Nolan’s ability to meld intense drama with intricate storytelling gives him the edge.

Predicted winner: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan

Best Actor

  • Jeffrey Wright — American Fiction
  • Paul Giamatti — The Holdovers
  • Bradley Cooper — Maestro
  • Cillian Murphy — Oppenheimer
  • Colman Domingo — Rustin

The Best Actor category is a realm where performers step into the shoes of real-life figures, showcasing their transformative prowess. In this year’s lineup, Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer shines as a beacon of complexity and nuance.

The competition is fierce, with Paul Giamatti’s masterful performance in The Holdovers, Bradley Cooper’s symphonic turn in Maestro, and the impactful portrayal by Colman Domingo in Rustin. However, Murphy’s powerful depiction, coupled with Oppenheimer’s overall dominance, places him on a trajectory toward Oscar glory.

Eight of the last 13 Best Actor Oscars have gone to those embodying real-life figures, and Murphy’s portrayal may well continue this trend. It’s not just about the explosive emotions he brings to IMAX; it’s about the impact of Oppenheimer across various categories that might give Murphy the lead.

Predicted winner: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Source: IMDb

Best Actress

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

What began as an early lock for Emma Stone in Poor Things has blossomed into a surprising duel with Lily Gladstone, the enchanting star of Killers of the Flower Moon. Stone, an awards favorite, seemed destined for the Best Actress prize, but Gladstone’s emergence has added a delightful twist to the narrative.

The Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival initially positioned Stone as the frontrunner, but Gladstone’s Golden Globe win shifted the tides. Carey Mulligan’s popularity in Maestro, Sandra Hüller’s brilliance in Anatomy of a Fall, and Annette Bening’s fifth Oscar nomination all add to the suspense.

While Stone remains a formidable contender, the unexpected competition from Gladstone might result in a surprising upset. The race for Best Actress has transformed into a blooming surprise, and the scent of victory is in the air for Lily Gladstone.

Predicted winner: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Source: Slash Film

Best Supporting Actor

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

In a delightful twist of fate, Robert Downey Jr. finds himself back on the Oscar stage with a shot at redemption. The Marvel icon, who missed out on winning for The Dark Knight, now navigates the Best Supporting Actor category with a powerful performance in Oppenheimer.

Amidst contenders like Sterling K. Brown’s compelling role in American Fiction, Ryan Gosling’s charismatic presence in Barbie, and Robert De Niro’s acclaimed performance in Killers of the Flower Moon, Downey’s overdue recognition and the sheer magic of Oppenheimer make him the frontrunner.

It’s not just about the character he portrays; it’s about the redemption arc that echoes the unpredictability of Hollywood. Downey’s journey from superhero to serious contender adds a layer of excitement to this category.

Predicted winner: Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer (2023)
Source: InReview

Best Supporting Actress

  • America Ferrera — Barbie
  • Danielle Brooks — The Color Purple
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph — The Holdovers
  • Jodie Foster — Nyad
  • Emily Blunt — Oppenheimer

In a category that appeared straightforward, Da’Vine Joy Randolph enters the scene with a culinary triumph in The Holdovers. Her portrayal of the school cook, laden with emotional depth and sincerity, makes her the beating heart of the film. Winning both the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, Randolph emerges as a formidable contender, ready to serve up a flavorful upset.

While the competition is strong, with Emily Blunt’s impactful role in Oppenheimer, America Ferrera’s surprise nomination for Barbie, and Danielle Brooks’ powerful presence in The Color Purple, Randolph’s culinary triumph stands out as a unique and compelling performance.

The Holdovers may not have grabbed the spotlight in major categories, but Randolph’s performance resonates, making her a dark horse in the Supporting Actress race. As the saying goes, sometimes the most flavorful dish wins, and in this case, Da’Vine Joy Randolph might just steal the show.

Predicted winner: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
Source: Focus Features

Best Original Screenplay

  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • The Holdovers
  • Maestro
  • May December
  • Past Lives

The Original Screenplay category unfolds as a battle of wits and literary prowess. Anatomy of a Fall and The Holdovers lead the pack with five nominations each, offering a rich tapestry of storytelling. While Anatomy of a Fall secured the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, The Holdovers presents a screenplay that is not just a script but a literary feast.

Alexander Payne’s movies have a history of success in this category, and The Holdovers, with its superb screenplay, might follow suit. The tight race between wit and introspection adds an extra layer of intrigue, making this one of the most captivating categories of the night. In a world where words shape narratives, The Holdovers may just have the right combination of literary brilliance and cinematic finesse to claim the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Predicted winner: The Holdovers

The Holdovers
Source: Peacock

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Fiction
  • Barbie
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • The Zone of Interest

Nolan’s Adaptation Mastery and the Barbie Surprise
In the realm of adaptation, Christopher Nolan’s masterful touch in Oppenheimer transforms weighty tomes into cinematic gems. While Gerwig’s Barbie adds a whimsical touch, the Academy seems poised to embrace Nolan’s adaptation prowess. With Oppenheimer leading the charge for Best Picture, the trend of screenplay winners continuing might just play in Nolan’s favor.

Poor Things stands as the most possible spoiler, given its broad support across the board. However, the surprise nomination for Barbie injects an element of unpredictability into the category. If voters are in the mood for a delightful surprise, Barbie might just dance its way into the winner’s circle. In a category where adaptation meets creativity, Oppenheimer and Barbie offer distinct flavors, making it a screenplay showdown that promises to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Predicted winner: Oppenheimer/Barbie


Best Animated Feature Film

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

In the animated realm, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse swings confidently into the spotlight. As the sequel to the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it weaves a web of success with universal critical acclaim and a legacy of excellence.

While The Boy and the Heron, Elemental, Nimona, and Robot Dreams bring their own unique flavors to the category, Spider-Man’s universal appeal and critical acclaim make it a strong contender. The Disney animated film Elemental has seen a resurgence following a curious snub at the Annie Awards, but Spider-Man’s web-slinging legacy might prove too strong to be unraveled.

As we witness Mario grossing over $1 billion worldwide and Disney’s quest for a resurgence, the Animated Feature Film category becomes a commercial affair, with an emotional sentiment fueling the mere existence of Miyazaki’s latest, Society of the Snow.

Predicted winner: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man Beyond the Spider-Verse
Source: The New York Times

Best International Feature Film

  • Io Capitano
  • Perfect Days
  • Society of the Snow
  • The Teachers’ Lounge
  • The Zone of Interest

The Zone’s Global Triumph and the Unforeseen Twist
In the international arena, The Zone of Interest emerges as the clear frontrunner. Acclaimed for its storytelling and direction, this UK-German collaboration stands tall as a global triumph. Despite the buzz around Society of the Snow, the heavily acclaimed The Zone of Interest, in contention for major prizes including Best Picture and Director, positions it as the likely winner in this category.

However, the unpredictability of the Oscars always leaves room for surprises. The Teachers’ Lounge, Perfect Days, Io Capitano, and Society of the Snow showcase diverse narratives from around the world. An unforeseen twist in this category could make it a nail-biter until the very end.

As we raise our glasses to international cinema, The Zone of Interest holds a commanding position, yet the Oscars are known for their twists and turns. Will the frontrunner secure the win, or will the Academy surprise us with an unexpected choice?

Predicted winner: The Zone of Interest

The Zone of Interest
Source: IFFI

As we prepare for Hollywood’s grandest celebration, the Oscars 2024 promises a cinematic feast filled with surprises, laughter, and, undoubtedly, a few tears. So, grab your popcorn, place your bets, and let the dazzling spectacle of the silver screen unfold on this glorious night of glitz and glamour!