Saturday, March 09, 2024

Oscar Forecast: Oppenheimer With a Chance of…. Nothing Else?

Oh Barbenheimer was there a motion picture event more enthralling? Even with juggernaut Oppie set to win many many Oscars, there are plenty of pretty tight races. And if my calculations are correct the door is open for almost all of the best picture nominees to win at least one award. Sorry Past Lives we still love you but something always has to win nothing. Let’s get to it.


Will Win: Oppenheimer

Could Win: The Holdovers (but not really)

Should Have Been Nominated: All Of Us Strangers

I haven’t been this sure of my Best Picture prediction since… last year. Since expanding beyond 5 nominees this category can be either wholly predictable or nearly impossible to predict. This year the Oppenheimer train is coming in full steam and nothing can really stop it. Sometimes a smaller film can swoop in and beat the big epic… your CODAs, your Spotlights. But those existed in years when the presumed frontrunner was fairly divisive. No one truly hates Oppenheimer and will be very high on most voter’s preferential ballots. It’s also won all the precursors - SAG, BAFTA, Critics Choice, PGA, Globes, DGA - so at this point it would be a shock if it didn’t win. So what is the alternative? I’m not sure really. In years past something like The Holdovers, a simple but heart warming little movie, could easily beat the big bombastic frontrunner. But I don’t think that can happen. Maybe if The Holdovers wins in Original Screenplay it has a chance? But other popular movies like Poor Things I think are too weird and divisive to really make a dent in Oppenheimer's likely triumph. And at this point even Barbie doesn't stand much of a chance, even with all the backlash to Greta's directing snub and Margot's actress snub. 


Will Win: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer

Could Win: Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest

Should Have Been Nominated: Greta Gerwig, Barbie

At this point it would be such a surprise if Christopher Nolan didn’t finally win his first Oscar. Glazer’s work on The Zone of Interest is iconic as is Lanthimos’ surrealist work on Poor Things. Those are visions that could of won in another year but this is Nolan’s year.


Will Win: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer

Could Win: Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

Should of Been Nominated: Andrew Scott, All Of Us Strangers

Last year this category was hard to call because Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser split so many of the precursor awards. Well Cillian won at BAFTA and at SAG this year (and the Globes) so he’s pretty much the frontrunner at this point. I’d say Paul Giamatti has a shot but his winning feels highly unlikely at this point.


Will Win: Robert Downey Jr, Oppenheimer

Could Win: Ryan Gosling, Barbie

Should of Been Nominated: Charles Melton, May December

It’s Iron Man vs the Hulk in Supporting Actor this year. And Iron Man is taking it. No one is beating Robert Downey Jr at this point not even his Marvel buddy Mark Ruffalo. I guess Ryan Gosling is in second place? That would be such a fun win and would definitely be even more ironic than “Margot Robbie getting snubbed.”


Will Win: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

Could Win: Emma Stone, Poor Things

Should of Been Nominated: Natalie Portman, May December

And here we have a race! The battle of the Stones! At the beginning of the season it seemed like Gladstone was taking it all. But then Emma started winning a lot of stuff, but then Gladstone won at SAG so frankly either one of them can take it. I’m giving the edge to Lily since she won SAG and I was wrong last year for picking Michelle Yeoh who also won SAG before winning the Oscar. Many think there could be a split leaving room for a surprise Sandra Huller win. No no no. Won’t happen. No lead performer has won Best Actress or Actor without at least winning one major precursor award since Adrien Brody in 2003. Sandra didn’t even win BAFTA like so many had predicted. And the only reason Lily didn’t win there was because she wasn’t nominated. Even win surprises happen here like Marion Cotillard, Olivia Colman, etc, they also won at BAFTA and the Globes so they weren't really not all that shocking in retrospect. This is exactly why I thought the people who all of a sudden started predicting Penelope Cruz for Parallel Mothers in 2022 were literally insane.


Will Win: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Could Win: Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer (not really)

Should of Been Nominated: Julianne Moore, May December

Can anyone really beat the season steamroller known as Da’Vine Joy Randolph? Not really. Place all your chips here and don’t look back.


Will Win: Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse

Could Win: The Boy and the Heron

Flip a damn coin cause I literally have no idea. Both films have things for and against them. The Boy and the Heron is from Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki who has only won once. Do voters really know him and want to award him? And then we have the Spider-Verse sequel. It feels like a miracle itself that the first Spider film won, let alone the (admittedly even more critically acclaimed) sequel. I really don’t know which way it’s gonna go. I think I’m leaving Spider-Man since it won the Annie Award. It’s also worth noting that only sequels that have won in this category were Pixar films: Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4.


Will Win: Oppenheimer

Could Win: Poor Things

One of Oppenheimer’s practically guaranteed technical wins. They even “invented” black and white IMAX film stock cause it didn’t exist before this.


Will Win: Poor Things

Could Win: Barbie

Ok I was wrong about Elvis last year. That movie went home empty handed. It’s possible Poor Things could end up with a bunch of awards or none at all. But I think it will win here and in Production Design in a very tight race with Barbie. I just thing the wildly crazy and inventive costumes here will triumph over Barbies equally fun not quite as impressive work. But really it could go either way.


Will Win: 20 Days in Mariupol

Could Win: Bobi Wine: The People's President


Will Win: The Last Repair Shop

Could Win: The ABCs of Book Banning


Will Win: Oppenheimer

Could Win: Anatomy of a Fall

I honestly don’t know who wins here instead of Oppenheimer a sprawling 3 hour epic that is entertaining, suspenseful, spans different timelines, takes places over several years and is never boring. It’s practically a miracle this movie is as good as it is and it’s because it’s well-edited.


Will Win: The Zone of Interest

Could Win: Society of the Snow (not really)

The Zone of Interest has this in the bag. Especially because Anatomy of a Fall isn’t nominated here (because France didn’t submit it, so it wasn’t eligible). Even ignoring the fact that The Zone of Interest is about a subject that is catnip to the Academy (the Holocaust) it’s one of the most powerful, important, and flat-out fascinating films ever nominated in this category. There is a reason it got the nominations it did.


Will Win: Maestro

Could Win: Poor Things

This is actually one of the tougher technical categories for me to predict this year. Usually this award will lineup with an acting win. It did last year with The Whale. Maestro feels like the frontrunner based on Bradley Cooper’s impressive transformation into composer Leonard Bernstein. But Cooper isn’t the Best Actor frontrunner. I think it could still win here because makeup that brings real life people to life does well here. But don’t rule out something like the sci-fi/fantasy heavy Poor Things. I mean even Oppenheimer has impressive old age makeup.


Will Win: Oppenheimer

Could Win: Poor Things

Ludwig Göransson is set to take home his second composing Oscar and he’s not even 40. I’m honestly not sure how anyone else wins here. Poor Things marks composer Jerskin Fendrix’s feature film debut and it’s pretty inventive. Robbie Robertson who composed Killers of the Flower Moon’s score died in August so I’m sure he’ll get some emotional posthumous votes. Still think this is Oppenheimer’s to lose.


Will Win: “What Was I Made For” from Barbie

Could Win: “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie

Barbies only real compeition here is itself. I think the Academy will go with the more “serious” song over the silly but fun “I’m Just Ken.” But don’t count out Diane Warren who’s on her like millionth nomination without a win. But she does have an honorary Oscar.


Will Win: Poor Things

Could Win: Barbie

Another Poor Things vs Barbie race and I think Poor Things just barely has the edge. Either would be a deserving winner. I’m predicting, perhaps foolishly, Poor Things for both this and Costume Design.


Will Win: WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko

Could Win: Letter to a Pig


Will Win: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Could Win: Red, White and Blue


Will Win: Oppenheimer

Could Win: The Zone of Interest

Best Sound and Film Editing go hand in hand a lot lately – except for last year – which is only one of the many reasons Oppenheimer will win this one as well. Though The Zone of Interest is really all about the sound design. I think it could of won in a weaker year of nominees.


Will Win: Godzilla Minus One

Could Win: The Creator

Nary a Best Picture nominee in this bunch so I honestly have no idea what’s gonna win. So many of the obvious picks like Oppenheimer, Barbie, or Poor Things just didn’t make the cut. And there isn't an obvious CGI visual spectacle ala Avatar this year. I honestly think a case could be made for any of the five nominees. Only The Creator and Napoleon have nominations in other categories which could give them a leg up but really it could go any way. May the odds be ever in your favor.


Will Win: American Fiction

Could Win: Oppenheimer

Should of Been Nominated: All Of Us Strangers

Oppenheimer could sweep and win this award too. Or maybe disgruntled Greta Gerwin fans will push her to win here, but it’s odd Adapted classification doesn’t really do it any favors. Which is why the Academy may lend a hand to the witty and fun American Fiction just the type of delightful movie that tends to win screenplay Oscars.


Will Win: Anatomy of a Fall

Could Win: The Holdovers

Should of Been Nominated: Saltburn

With Barbie out of the running in this category and I’m fairly certain this is the place the Academy can reward Anatomy of a Fall. Especially since it’s no in the International Feature category. I honestly thought at the beginning of the season that The Holdovers would be running away with original screenplay wins leading up to the Oscars but Anatomy of the Fall has shown much more support. But this is in no way a done deal.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Ghostface and Lesbians and Barbenheimer, Oh My! The Best Movies of 2023


1 - Barbie

2 - Scream VI

3 - Oppenheimer 

4 - Bottoms

5 - American Fiction

6 - The Holdovers 

7 - All of Us Strangers 

8 - Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

9 - Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

10 - Saltburn

11 - May December

12 - M3GAN

13 - Air

14 - Thanksgiving

15 - Elemental

16 - The Killer

17 - Killers of the Flower Moon

18 - Past Lives

19 - Anatomy of a Fall

20 - Joy Ride

Oscar Nomination Predictions 2024

 Best Picture


Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things


The Holdovers


Past Lives

Anatomy of a Fall

American Fiction

The Zone of Interest

Alternate- The Color Purple

Best Director

Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer

Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon

Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest

Greta Gerwig, Barbie

Alternates – Alexander Payne, The Holdovers; Justine Triet, Anatomy of a Fall

Best Actress

Emma Stone, Poor Things

Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

Carey Mulligan, Maestro

Sandra Huller, Anatomy of a Fall

Margot Robbie, Barbie

Alternates – Greta Lee, Past Lives; Annette Bening, Nyad

Best Actor

Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer

Bradley Cooper, Maestro

Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction

Colman Domingo, Rustin

Alternates – Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon; Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers

Best Supporting Actress

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple

Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer

Julianne Moore, May December

Jodie Foster, Nyad

Alternates – Penelope Cruz, Ferrari; Sandra Huller, The Zone of Interest

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

Ryan Gosling, Barbie

Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon

Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Charles Melton, May December

Alternates – Willem Dafoe, Poor Things; Dominic Sessa, The Holdovers

Best Adapted Screenplay

Killers of the Flower Moon


Poor Things


American Fiction

Alternates – The Zone of Interest; All of Us Strangers

Best Original Screenplay

The Holdovers

Past Lives

Anatomy of a Fall

May December


Alternates – Maestro; Air

Best Cinematography


Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things


The Zone of Interest

Alternates – Saltburn; Barbie

Best Costume Design

Poor Things


Killers of the Flower Moon

The Color Purple


Alternates – Oppenheimer; Wonka

Best Film Editing


Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things


Anatomy of a Fall

Alternates – The Holdovers; Maestro

Best Makeup and Hairstyling


Poor Things



Society of the Snow

Alternates – Killers of the Flower Moon; The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Best Production Design

Poor Things



Killers of the Flower Moon


Alternates – The Zone of Interest; The Color Purple

Best Score


Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


Alternates – The Zone of Interest; Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Best Song

Barbie, What Was I Made For?

Barbie, I'm Just Ken

Flamin' Hot, The Fire Inside

Rustin, Road to Freedom

American Symphony, It Never Went Away

Alternates – The Color Purple, Keep It Movin’; Barbie, Dance the Night

Best Sound



Killers of the Flower Moon


The Zone of Interest

Alternates – Napoleon; Barbie

Best Visual Effects

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The Creator

Poor Things

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Godzilla Minus One

Alternates – Society of the Snow; Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Best Animated Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem


Alternates – Chicken Run Dawn of the Nugget; Suzume

Best Documentary Feature

American Symphony

20 Days in Mariupol

Four Daughters

Beyond Utopia

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Alternates – The Eternal Memory; Bobi Wine The People’s President

Best International Film

The Zone of Interest

Society of the Snow

Fallen Leaves

The Taste of Things

20 Days in Mariupol

Alternates – The Teacher’s Lounge; Totem

Best Animated Short

Once Upon a Studio


WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko

Letter to a Pig


Best Documentary Short

The ABCs of Book Banning

The Last Repair Shop

The Barber of Little Rock

Last Song from Kabul

Deciding Vote

Best Live Action Short

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

The After

The Anne Frank Gift Shop

The Shepherd

Strange Way of Life