By James Diss
January 23rd marks the day the nominations for the official 96th Official Oscars are released. So here we are, and here is what I would like to see. I hope to offer a follow up piece after events such as SAG with a lengthy piece as we enter the final stretch of the Oscar season!
10. Suspect the Best Picture to be between the ‘big four’.
Yes, this year’s awards season has seen the return of the big budget film. The last few years has seen titles such as Everything Everywhere All At Once, Coda and Nomadland beat the odds to win Best Picture from an unlikely position. But 2024 sees the films of Barbie, Oppenheimer, Poor Things and Killers Of The Flower Moon fight it out for Best Picture. While the films of Jonathan Glazer (The Zone Of Interest), Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction) and Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall) are likely to be nominated, it will be at the expense of some big names. The likes of Origin by Ava DuVernay, Rustin from George C. Wolfe could miss out. But with room for 10 nominations, expect some unlikely entries.
9. Will we get more female directors nominations.
The last four years has finally seen Hollywood acknowledge the work of female artists, with the likes of Jane Campion, Chloe Zhao winning in recent years. But there is room for more improvement. The 2023 Oscars saw not one woman nominated, with the likes of Sarah Polley, Charlotte Wells, Gina Prince Bythewood and Chinonye Chukwe all being snubbed. But with Greta Gerwig officially going to stardom level with her $1Billion bound box office hit Barbie, we hope this year can be better. But what is more interesting is if Emerald Fennell for Saltburn and Sofia Coppola for Priscilla will be within a shout. With only four slots open, with Christopher Nolan and Gerwig as guarantees, it will be an interesting look.
8. The battle for Best Actor in a Lead Role.
The Best Actor award has been a strange one this season, with a lot of unpredicted twists coming this season. Up until winter Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Robert J Oppenheimer was favourite. But a late push by Bradley Cooper’s portrayal as Leonard Bernstein opened the prospect of Cooper’s recognition as a A-list talent. But a win for Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers at the 29th Critics choice award has turned a few heads. If all three are nominated, only two slots remain. With both Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction) and Colman Domingo (Rustin) both putting in important performances on race issues it will be interesting to see if there recognised. Another question lies of if Leonardo Di Caprio’s performance in Killers of The Flower Moon is nominated or will it yet be another snub.
7. Nominations for Best Actress in a Lead Role seem straight forward.
Previous years have seen the performances by Keke Paler (Nope 2023), Danielle Deadwyler (Till 2023), Lady Gaga (House Of Gucci 2022) all being snubbed in previous ceremonies. 2024 has seen five main performances stand out with Margot Robbie (Barbie), Emma Stone (Poor Things), Lily Gladstone (KOTFM), Carey Mulligan (Maestro) and Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall) all seeming likely noms. This year should see few surprises.
6. Best Supporting Actor might see some surprises.
With Robert Downing Jr might see as favourite to win ahead of Ryan Gosling, the five slots might see some surprise nominations. With the Likes of Robert DeNiro (KOTFM) and Dominic Sessa (The Holdovers) likely to be nominated it will be a surprise to see who gets the final slot. With some fantastic performances by the likes of Sterling K Brown, Mark Ruffalo, Charles Melton and Jacob Elordi coming this season, some shocks are expected.
7. Best Supporting Actress might follow Best Supporting Actor
Like Robert Downing Jr, the performance by Da’ Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers has been scoping the awards of late. But it will be intesting to see who is nominated with a lot of legends joining the nominations. Jodie Foster (Nyad), Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer) and Julianne Moore (May, December) all are up for nomination.
6. The race for Original Screenplay has opened up.
With Barbie being officially declared an adapted screenplay, Original screenplay seems up for debate now with some strong candidates pushing for nominations. With the scripts of Past Lives, Saltburn, Anatomy of a Fall and The Holdovers all up for nomination, will Maestro be snubbed or will it neat May December for the last spot??
5. Adapted Screenplay is now a crowed space.
Barbie (Greta Gerwig), Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan), Poor Things (Tony McNamara,) Killers of the Flower Moon (Eric Roth) are some of the many names fighting it out for nominations this year. With Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of “Erasure” with American Fiction likely to also get a nomination. Could we see some surprises with Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone Interest or Blitz Bazawule’s The Colour Purple pick a surprise nomination up.
4. This year has promised us rich nominations for Outstanding Cinematography.
This year’s nominations for cinematography have promised us a rich list of talent. Regular Nolan collaborator Hoyte Van Hoytema seems the most likely to receive a nomination for his incredible work on Oppenheimer. While Yorgos Lanthimos’s regular cinematographer Robbie Ryan’s incredible work on Poor Things seems to be a must. In other words, Rodrigo Prieto has been one of the busiest in the business with his work on both Killers Of The Flower Moon and Barbie up for contention. While both Netflix films Maestro and El Condo could see themselves recognised.
3. Original Song could see Billie Eilish have two noms to her name.
Two years after her win for the “No Time To Die” Billie Eilish’s wonderful work on the Barbie soundtrack seems likely to get her a nom. Expect the same for Mark Ronson and Andrew Myatt for their rendition of “I’m Just Ken”. Outside of Barbie expect Rustin, American Symphony and Flamin’ Hot all to receive nominations. But could we see a third nomination for Barbie with Dance the Night Away by Dua Lipa?
2. Whatever the outcome international feature Film keeps getting stronger
While The Zone of interest, The Teachers’ Lounge and The Taste of Things all seem likely nominations, the late hype around Netflix film Society of the Snow based on the true story of the 1972 Andes flight disaster could be late addition. Due to the ineligibility of Past Lives entering and France not submitting Anatomy of a Fall as their feature, both films will be not allowed to run for this award.
1.Expect Nominations to be at their strongest to date
While previous years have offered up both clear nominations and recognition for some of the best work In Hollywood, this year presents both a mix of new Hollywood filmmakers and also respected household names. Not since 2020 has the awards season offered up such as mix of strong work. Whatever the outcome, you can expect to see some strong contentions this year all offering up respectable work from brilliant artists.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Expect a part II around late February and a few more surprise pieces in between.