Oscars 2024 Nominations And Predictions

On Sunday, March 10, the 96th Annual Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles, California, where Oscars will be given out to the most outstanding movies of the year. Below is a list of my predictions for which nominees will ultimately receive the Oscar. Keep in mind that the article does not cover several important technical Oscar categories, all of which are incredibly important as well.
Staff Writer Arjun Mukherjee predicts which actresses, directors, songs and films will win the Oscars this year.
Staff Writer Arjun Mukherjee predicts which actresses, directors, songs and films will win the Oscars this year.
Courtesy Oscars.org
Best Picture

The Nominees for Best Picture are as follows: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of A Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives” and “Poor Things”

Will Win: Oppenheimer

“Oppenheimer,”  the dense, technically brilliant brainchild of director Christopher Nolan, is equally terrifying and awe-inspiring in its depiction of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the mastermind behind the Manhattan project led by the Defense Department. Taking home the Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG for Best Picture, along with innumerable other accolades, “Oppenheimer” is well positioned to win the Oscar for Best Picture as well. Nolan vividly portrays scenes from all aspects of Oppenheimer’s life, ranging from his schooling to later interrogations, eventually culminating into the climax of the film — the initial nuclear test detonation now known as Trinity. A show stopping performance from Cillian Murphy, the tense scoring (a product of the composer Ludwig Göransson), as well as Nolan’s gripping screenplay result in a beautiful movie that encapsulates the terrible dawn of the atomic age.

Could Win: Killers of the Flower Moon

In 1920s Oklahoma, members of the Osage nation find oil — an enriching discovery that eventually becomes their Achilles Heel. The discovery leads to a series of unsolved murders and crimes which eventually prompt the federal government to act by forming the FBI. Based on the nonfiction book by David Grann, “Killers of the Flower Moon” illustrates the injustices that Native Americans routinely faced; it’s an area of storytelling usually neglected. Ranked as the number one film of 2023 by both “Sight and Sound” and “Roger Ebert,” two of the most eminent film publications, “Killers of the Flower Moon” received universal critical acclaim. Martin Scorseces’s riveting direction in addition to stellar performances by lead actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert DeNiro make for a sobering and exquisitely tragic film.

Should Win: Oppenheimer

Any story about how theoretical physics led to the advent of the nuclear bomb is bound to be challenging to make. Despite this, both the book that “Oppenheimer” is based on as well as the movie achieve greatness. There is an implicit and dark theme present throughout the entire film  and although there is initial excitement in the build up to the Trinity test (“This [the Manhattan Project] is the most important thing in the history of the world!” cries a defense department official, played by Matt Damon), an unsettling feeling chills the aftermath of the project. It’s an impactful moment when Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) starts to realize the destruction he has unleashed.

Best Actress

The Nominees for Best Actress are as follows: Annette Benning (“NYAD”), Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”), Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”)

Will Win: Lily Gladstone

Lily Gladstone, who plays the main protagonist, Mollie Kyle in “Killers of the Flower Moon, was raised on the Blackfeet reservation as the child of parents with Blackfeet and Nez Perce ancestry. As one of the few Indigenous actors visible in Hollywood, Gladstone is an important advocate for Native rights. In an interview with The New Yorker, Gladstone said, “We’re in the ninety-sixth year of the Academy Awards, and we’re on Native American land. Natives are natural storytellers…So it’s just odd that, in the United States, it’s taken almost a hundred years for a Native American to reach this milestone in a major acting category,” regarding her nomination. Her critically acclaimed performance sweeped the Best Actress awards for other important accolades, including the Critic’s Choice Awards, the BAFTAs, the SAG awards and the Golden Globe.  

Could Win: Emma Stone

In “Poor Things,” Emma Stone plays a corpse that gets revived with the brain of an infant in Frankenstein-esque fashion. I know, it sounds insane, to say the least. Yet Stone’s acting with its youthful ignorance, curiosity and mischievous nature, is remarkable, especially considering the subject matter. The New York Times praised her performance as “the most gonzo acting of the year,” a nod to the impish nature of the film. Snatching the Golden Globe for Best Actress, Motion Picture Musical and Drama, as well as a critic’s choice award, it would not be surprising if the Academy Awards presented Best Actress to Stone.

Should Win: Annette Benning

At 64, Diana Nyad swam from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida: a distance spanning over 110 miles across the Florida Straits. Her struggles and challenges were masterfully portrayed in “NYAD,” where actress Annette Benning brings her own relentlessness and grit to the film. Aided by Jodie Foster, Benning explores Diana Nyad’s complicated past and brings new depth into the narrative. Although “NYAD” was eventually overshadowed by other flashier movies, Benning’s work should not go unnoticed. 

Best Actor

The nominees for Best Actor are as follows: Bradley Cooper (“Maestro”), Colman Domingo (“Rustin”), Paul Giammati (“The Holdovers”), Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Jefferey Wright  (“American Fiction”)

Will Win: Cillian Murphy

A frequent collaborator with Christopher Nolan, Murphy was best known for being cast as Tommy Shelby in the British drama series “Peaky Blinders before playing J. Robert Oppenheimer. It almost seems as if Murphy was born for the role; his utterly somber, tortured psyche is reflected in his actions. Oppenheimer led an extremely tormented life since he was profiled by the FBI and Congress for Communist ties, and was forever scarred after realizing how his work may lead to the destruction of humanity. Murphy expertly translates this in his acting. After the Trinity test, his haunted body seems to carry the ghosts of those who his work led to the deaths of. Garnering the Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice Award, BAFTA and SAG for Best Actor, Murphy is well-positioned to take the Oscar.

Could Win: Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper both directed and acted in “Maestro,” a biopic depicting musical polymath Leonard Bernstein and his tumultuous relationship with his wife, the actress Felicia Montealegre. Cooper’s performance adds extraordinary insight into Bernstein’s eccentric lifestyle and genius. Currently streaming on Netflix, “Maestroalso received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Makeup, Best Sound and Best Cinematography in addition to its noteable Best Actor nomination.

Should Win: Cillian Murphy

Although every single nominee demonstrated an outstanding grasp on their craft, Murphy’s acting is so raw and real that it stands above the rest. Most film adaptations of novels stray from the novel’s intentions, especially with nonfiction texts, yet Murphy breathes life into Oppenheimer’s work and legacy with ease. His interactions with others, as well as the depictions of his past, are believable and sobering, and he deserves to take home an Oscar.

Best Direction

The nominees for Best Direction are as follows: “Anatomy of a Fall” (Justine Triet), “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Martin Scorsese), “Oppenheimer” (Christopher Nolan), Poor Things (“Yorgos Lanthimos”) and “The Zone of Interest” (Jonathan Glazer)

Will Win: Christopher Nolan

Nolan’s film “Oppenheimer, produced alongside his wife Emma Thomas, has proven a favorite at recent award shows, and Nolan himself received the Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice Award, BAFTA and SAG for Best Director. This suggests that he is favored to take home the Oscar as well. This has been a long time coming for the famed director (this is his eighth nomination!), as his previous films, including “The Dark Knight(2008), “Inception(2010) and “Dunkirk(2017) were all critically acclaimed yet failed to give Nolan the elusive award. 

Could Win: Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s directorial prowess reaches new heights in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” positioning him as a strong contender for the Best Direction Oscar at the 96th Academy Awards. Scorsese’s trademark style is on full display as he navigates the complex layers of betrayal, corruption and cultural clashes that were present in David Grann’s narrative of the Osage saga. Scorsese’s ability to extract compelling performances from his cast in “Killers of the Flower Moon (especially Lily Gladstone’s and Leonardo DiCaprio’s superb performances), proves his ability to create Oscar-worthy masterpieces.

Should Win: Jonathan Glazer 

“The Zone of Interest, a film also contending for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, focuses on the life of Auschwitz’s commandant Rudolf Höss as he and his family live an idyllic life in a home right next to the death camp. Apart from the sounds of shootings and screams, little is revealed about Auschwitz, which is separated from Höss’s home by nothing more than a garden wall. Yet there is something innately disturbing about it. Perhaps it’s the audience’s knowledge of what actually happened inside Auschwitz, but Glazer’s direction creates an eerie, unsettling movie that speaks to the human experience.

Best Foreign Film

The nominees for Best Foreign Film are as follows: “Io Capitano” (Italy), “Perfect Days” (Japan), “Society of the Snow” (Spain), “The Teacher’s Lounge” (Germany) and “The Zone of Interest” (United Kingdom)

Will Win: The Zone of Interest

“The Zone of Interest is undoubtedly a chilling masterpiece of storytelling that implicitly illustrates the horrors of the Nazi regime. Receiving a six-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival (as well as the Grand Prix prize), the film stands out in its depiction of the Holocaust — instead of focusing on the victims, director Jonathan Glazer sheds the spotlight on the Nazis themselves, revealing how their personal lives impacted the atrocities that took place during the genocide. 

Could Win: Society of the Snow

In 1972, a flight chartered by a Uruguayan rugby team crashed into the Andes: a mountain range that is one of the most inhospitable environments on the face of the Earth. The film “Society of the Film” chronicles the events of the passengers as well as their incredible survival journey (although many survived the initial crash, exposure, disease and hunger wiped many of the survivors – the extreme lack of food led to cannibalism, which was highlighted extensively throughout the movie). The incredible sound design and sweeping cinematography make for an excellent movie that may win the hearts of the voters of the Academy.

Should win: Io Capitano

The official entry from Italy for the Best Foreign Film award, “Io Capitano” uncovers the harsh journey millions of African migrants face during their journey to Europe in search for a better life. Focusing on a 16-year old protagonist named Seydou (coincidentally played by actor Seydou Sarr), director Matteo Garrone empathetically depicts scenes faced by many migrants, including stints in Libyan prisons, unforgiving treks through the Sahara and the cruelly formidable crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. In his review of the movie on NPR, Justin Chang writes, “This [“Io Capitano”] is a grueling portrait of a migrant’s journey, but it also unfolds with the epic classicism of a hero’s odyssey. In one audacious, dreamlike sequence, Seydou, trying to help an older woman who’s collapsed from exhaustion in the desert, imagines her magically levitating alongside him … [revealing] Seydou’s deeply compassionate spirit.”

Best Documentary Feature Film

The nominees for Best Documentary Feature Film are as follows: “Bobi Wine: The People’s President,” “The Eternal Memory,” “Four Daughters,” “To Kill A Tiger” and “20 Days in Mariupol”

Will Win: 20 Days in Mariupol

Could Win: To Kill a Tiger

Should Win: 20 Days in Mariupol

When Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, its movements were swift and brutal. Now, journalists have started to uncover the wave of brutalities that were unleashed on the country, from the war crimes in the town of Bucha to the relentless bombardment of Bakhmut. Yet the merciless destruction of Mariupol, a key Ukrainian city, was unmatched in its savagery and images coming out of there evoked the bombings of Aleppo during the Syrian Civil War. The documentary film “20 Days in Mariupol,” recorded by Ukrainian journalist Mstyslav Chernov and his colleagues from the Associated Press, exhibited the civilian deaths and wrecking of the city and received a Pulitzer Prize (in addition to many other accolades) for its depiction of what happened in Mariupol. Its brave nature and illustration of the unflinching observation of the truth will likely result in a well-deserved Oscar. Additionally, the documentary “To Kill a Tiger,” which documented a father’s fight for justice after his daughter was sexually assaulted in rural India, has a strong chance at garnering the award. 

Best Animated Feature Film

The nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are as follows: “The Boy and the Heron,” “Elemental,” “Nimona,” “Robot Dreams” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Will Win: The Boy and the Heron

Could Win: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Should Win: The Boy and the Heron

Haoyo Miyazaki is a legend in the world of animation and his film studio, Studio Ghibli, has released some of the most renowned animation films in recent years, including “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro.” Miyazaki’s latest foray into film resulted in “The Boy and the Heron,” a fantasy movie that revolves around a Japanese boy named Mahito during World War II and his life after his mother died in the Tokyo firebombings. The stunning art direction, which is found in nearly all Studio Ghibli productions, resembles impressionist watercolors from the 19th century – each element is carefully constructed and fully vivid. Although the plot is quite complicated and difficult to understand at first, the film is full of metaphors and deeper meanings. Another strong contender for the award is “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” but superhero movies haven’t done so well at the Oscars in years past, so it will be interesting to see how the Oscar voters feel. 

Best Music (Original Song)

The nominees for Best Music (Original Song) are as follows: “The Fire Inside,” “I’m Just Ken,” “It Never Went Away,” “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” and “What Was I Made For?”

Will Win: What Was I Made For?

Could Win: I’m Just Ken

Should Win: What Was I Made For?

What Was I Made For?, the pensive, thoughtful, and powerful piano ballad by Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, questions our purpose in the world. Specifically referencing Barbie (Looked so alive, turns out I’m not real / Just something you paid for), the song also plays to common themes of feeling lost and unsure. Eilish is a master of creating melancholically hopeful music, and “What Was I Made For? is no exception – the lyrics start off by asking “What Was I Made For,” before evolving into “something I made for,” signaling a turning point in “Barbie.” “What Was I Made For?” won “Song of the Year” at the 66th Grammy Awards as well as the Best Song award at the Golden Globes, making it almost certain that it will snatch the Oscar as well. “Barbie” in general had an assortment of songs in its soundtrack that were masterfully crafted – Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” is also in contention for the Oscar, while Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night was not due to an Academy regulation. 

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

The nominees for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) are as follows: “Anatomy of a Fall,” “The Holdovers,” “Maestro,” “May December” and “Past Lives”

Will Win: Anatomy of a Fall

Could Win: Past Lives

Should Win: Past Lives

“Anatomy of a Fall,” written and directed by Justine Triet, missed out on a best Foreign Film nomination after France decided to put forward “The Taste Of Things” instead of Triet’s film. The storyline revolves around a woman (Sandra Hüller) who is suspected of her husband’s murder, unraveling mystery after mystery, culminating into a courtroom drama that explores what it means to be truly guilty. Furthermore, the couple’s blind son (played by Milo Machado-Graner) faces a moral dilemma as the sole witness to the alleged crime. Triet won the prestigious Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for the movie, and its suspenseful screenplay has a high probability of receiving the Oscar in this category. Another brilliant film that equally deserves to be recognized for its screenplay is “Past Lives” written and directed by Celine Song as her debut movie. Song examines her own Korean heritage and culture concept of “Past Lives” (a sort of déja vu) in South Korea with great detail and the result is a quiet, deeply reflective drama that captures the beauty of past relationships.

The 2024 Academy Awards will cap off an extraordinary year of filmmaking and storytelling at its best. Make sure to watch them on Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.

Leave a Comment
Our Goal

A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *