Final 96th Academy Award Nomination Predictions

Well, folks, we’ve finally reached the apex of awards season. Tomorrow morning, the Academy will announce its nominations for the 96th Academy Awards. Now, as many of you know, I was unfortunately put up with a serious injury last year that made it difficult to cover this race. And even if I did, 2023 proved an impossible-to-predict year, thanks to two different strikes forcing several contenders into the heart of 2024. Gone are Challengers and Dune: Part Two, and in their wake are a series of European films and two of the biggest blockbusters in recent memory.

Right off the bat, let’s break down the eleven-ish films vying for Best Picture nominations, as they primarily make up the bulk of this year’s nominees. It’s been plainly clear since July that the frontrunners this year will be the Barbenheimer double feature. That’s right, Barbie and Oppenheimer are both looking to have major days with the Academy. Oppenheimer in particular should be the biggest contender, thanks to three acting nominations, a likely Best Director win, and nominations across the board technically (Score, Sound, Editing, Screenplay, Production Design, Cinematography…you name it, it’ll get it).

Barbie, meanwhile, started the season as the frontrunner, but has seen its status slip as it struggled with precursors. As such, don’t be surprised if Margot Robbie fails to earn a nomination, or if Greta Gerwig misses out on a nomination to Justine Triet (more on that in a minute). However, the film should still clean up, thanks to its several songs in contention, Ryan Gosling’s supporting turn, the film’s killer screenplay (it should very much compete to win Best Adapted Screenplay), and technical work in Production and Costume Design.

Meanwhile, many of the other nominations will likely be taken by the technical, critical darlings of the season – films like Poor Things, Killers of the Flower Moon, and The Holdovers. Expect all three to earn directing, writing, and editing nominations, as well as a bounty of acting nods, including leads Lily Gladstone, Emma Stone, Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Robert De Niro. The films could even get more nominations in the acting field, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, and Dominic Sessa each duking it out for a handful of slots (expect the first two to make it and the second two to just miss). Oh, and Poor Things will dominate the technical categories – look for Score, Production Design, Visual Effects, makeup and beyond.

The next group of contenders are the cuspers: the films that have enough support they feel safe for a nomination, but aren’t fully playing with the big boys. For example, Maestro should land nods for leads Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan, perhaps nods for the screenplay, cinematography, and makeup, and not much else. Past Lives and American Fiction should coast in as crowdpleasers, but don’t expect nominations between the writing and performances of Jeffrey Wright and some surprise(ish) nods for Sterling K. Brown and Greta Lee. The only cusper that should struggle is The Color Purple – despite great reviews and a healthy box office return, voters have not registered with the musical adaptation. Fantasia and the costumes may manage to sneak in or carry the film to a Picture nomination, but don’t be surprised if Danielle Brooks is the film’s sole nominee.

Which brings us to our new entries: the Europeans. Since expanding membership, we’ve seen an influx of international nominees not seen since Fellini, Kurosawa, and Bergman ran the world. Two films – one British, one French – should fill these slots. And based on their support both in Hollywood and from BAFTA, I’d say they may be major threats in some categories. Despite its bleak subject matter, The Zone of Interest is emerging as a major threat for several nominations. It has gone from an on-the-cusp contender to earning nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Feature (somehow, despite being British), Score, and Sound. I’m even going on a limb and predicting a surprise Supporting Actress nod for Sandra Hüller, and don’t be surprised if Jonathan Glazer sneaks into Directing.

Finally, there’s Anatomy of a Fall has been on an upswing since winning the Palme d’Or last spring. Triet’s courtroom thriller is one of the best showings of the year, and after both critical and commercial success, look for it not only in Best Actress (again, for Hüller), Screenplay, Editing, and even a surprise directing nod for Triet (it’s her, Gerwig, or Glazer). In fact, the only category it surprisingly won’t be nominated for is International Feature. Due to the messiness of this category, every country is allowed to choose one film to nominate, and the famously political and sexist French government refused to submit Triet’s film, opting for The Taste of Things instead (which should also likely earn a nomination in its respective field).

Looking through the rest of my predictions, a few other observations stand out. May December has mostly bombed within the industry, but the year’s most exciting film should still manage a nomination as the annual lone Best Screenplay contender. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse should earn a few nominations on top of animation, including Best Original Score, potentially Best Original Song, and perhaps even Best Visual Effects (I mean, I’m not predicting it, but it could happen). Napoleon and Saltburn should earn a handful of technical nominations. And there’s nothing I’m rooting for harder than a Godzilla Minus One Best Visual Effects nomination.

That wraps up my final predictions before tomorrow’s nominations. It’s an exciting year, with the only given being that no one knows what surprises await us. Could Leo miss out? Could Scorsese? Will Oppenheimer launch an atomic bomb level campaign? We’ll find out tomorrow morning. The 96th Academy Award nominations will be presented on Good Morning America at 8:30 am by Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid. You can see my full list of predictions right here, as well as listed below.

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

Best Actor

  • Bradley Cooper – Maestro
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
  • Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
  • Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

Best Actress

  • Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall
  • Greta Lee – Past Lives
  • Carey Mulligan – Maestro
  • Emma Stone – Poor Things

Best Supporting Actor

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

Best Supporting Actress

  • Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer
  • Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple
  • Jodie Foster – Nyad
  • Sandra Hüller – The Zone of Interest
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

Best Director

  • Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things
  • Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
  • Alexander Payne – The Holdovers
  • Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall

Best Original Screenplay

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

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

Best Animated Feature

  • The Boy and the Heron
  • Elemental
  • Nimona
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Best International Feature

  • Fallen Leaves
  • Perfect Days
  • The Taste of Things
  • The Teacher’s Lounge
  • The Zone of Interest

Best Documentary Feature

  • American Symphony
  • Beyond Utopia
  • The Eternal Memory
  • Four Daughters
  • 20 Days in Mariupol

Best Documentary Short

  • The Barber of Little Rock
  • Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games
  • Camp Courage
  • How We Get Free
  • If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis

Best Animated Short

  • Humo (Smoke)
  • Koerkorter (Dog Apartment)
  • Ninety-Five Senses
  • Our Uniform
  • Wild Summon

Best Live Action Short

  • Good Boy
  • Invisible Border
  • Strange Way of Life
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
  • Yellow

Best Original Score

  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • The Zone of Interest

Best Original Song

  • “Am I Dreaming” – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • “Fire Inside” – Flamin’ Hot
  • “I’m Just Ken” – Barbie
  • “Road to Freedom” – Rustin
  • “What Was I Made For?” – Barbie

Best Sound

  • Ferrari
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Oppenheimer
  • The Zone of Interest

Best Production Design

  • Barbie
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Saltburn

Best Cinematography

  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Saltburn

Best Costume Design

  • Barbie
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • The Last Voyage of the Demeter
  • Maestro
  • Napoleon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things

Best Film Editing

  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • The Holdovers
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things

Best Visual Effects

  • The Creator
  • Godzilla Minus One
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Poor Things

Oppenheimer – 13
Killers of the Flower Moon – 12
Poor Things – 12
Barbie – 7
Maestro – 7
The Holdovers – 6
The Zone of Interest – 6
Anatomy of a Fall – 5
American Fiction – 4
Past Lives – 3
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – 3
Napoleon – 2
Saltburn – 2

1 Comment

  • OnlyWikis Posted 03/25/2024 6:54 am

    Hey everyone, I am so excited that we have finally reached the pinnacle of awards season! Tomorrow, the Academy will announce the nominations for the 96th Academy Awards and I couldn’t be more thrilled. However, as some of you may know, I faced a major injury last year which made it difficult for me to cover this race. But even if I was able to, 2023 proved to be an unpredictable year due to two strikes that forced many contenders into 2024. Sadly, this means that we won’t be seeing films like Challengers and Dune: Part Two, but instead, a mix of European films and two of the biggest blockbusters in recent memory.

Add Comment

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