The Oscars 2024

The Oscars, like most of us, have had a strange few years, but things seemed to settle in 2023 and I’m guessing 2024 will continue the slow march back towards normalcy. The pandemic had a big impact on the industry as a whole, which naturally trickled down to the Oscars, who tried some experiments, but have basically returned to a pre-pandemic format. The biggest innovation this year: starting an hour early, finally recognizing that the 3+ hour ceremony would actually be that long. Otherwise, we’ve got a reasonably successful host, movies normal people actually watched are nominated, and they didn’t try any other weird ideas (i.e. not presenting important categories, or adding a new category for popular movies or whatever that thing was, etc…)

So it’s also time for the annual reminder that the Oscars broadcast is the biggest source of income for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is actually a very useful organization. As Steven Soderbergh noted a few years ago, what the Academy does for film archiving and preservation alone should be praised, and it’s all paid for by the broadcast. People love to complain about the Oscars, but that’s kinda fun in itself, and it’s not like any mainstream awards program wouldn’t court controversy or criticism in some way. Actually putting on the show is difficult and it does have a lot of benefits for the industry and cinema as a whole. Anyway, let’s look at the categories and make some predictions:

2024 Oscars Predictions

  • Best Picture: Oppenheimer. This appears to be, more or less, a lock. Strangely, I think it’s probably the one that “should” win as well, which is a pretty rare occurrence for me. Biggest competition seems to be coming from The Zone of Interest (maybe a more typical Oscar type film, but it’s also somewhat divisive and I doubt it could overcome Oppy) and Poor Things (I would say that this is far too weird for the Academy voters, but then, they gave last year’s oscar to Everything Everywhere All at Once, so who knows anymore.) I dunno, maybe Barbie because Greta Gerwig didn’t get the director nom, but that seems quite unlikely (if there’s a true desire to reward Barbie, there are some other category options as well).
  • Best Director: Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer. Also something of a lock. Also probably “should” win. I suppose there’s an off chance that Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things) or Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest) could win, but I wouldn’t take those odds. Martin Scorsese and Justine Triet certainly deserve to be nominated, but there’s almost no chance that either would win.
  • Best Actress: Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon. Seems to have the buzz, but not quite as strong as Oppy/Nolan. Genuine possibility that Emma Stone win for Poor Things, but I think that’s unlikely. It would be an upset, but not a shocking one.
  • Best Actor: Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer. Again, plenty of buzz, and may benefit from the general Oppy momentum, but there’s an off chance that Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers) could win… I think I’m going long on Oppy this year though, probably a winning strategy.
  • Best Supporting Actress: DaVine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers. I know I just said I’m going long on Oppy this year, and Emily Blunt is nominated here so I guess it’s possible she could take this, but Randolph has the buzz (and probably the better performance, if that matters).
  • Best Supporting Actor: Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer. This is another seeming lock for Oppy and Downey Jr. certainly deserves recognition. I think the funniest/worst potential outcome would be Ryan Gosling winning for Barbie (with a potential additional knife twist by not awarding Barbie anything else, even in the technical categories). To be clear, Gosling is great (and Barbie deserves some awardage), but I don’t expect him to win (nor do I expect Barbie to be shut out).
  • Best Original Screenplay: The Holdovers. This is a tough category, and I do think there’s a good chance that Anatomy of a Fall… it might even be the favorite (I would vote for it from this list of nominees), but I’m going with The Holdovers as the winner.
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Oppenheimer. Again, I’m betting it’ll be an Oppy kinda night, but this category seems like one that could easily go to Barbie or American Fiction or honestly, any of the nominees. This category feels wide open…
  • Best Cinematography: Oppenheimer. Seems like a lock, but off chance that Poor Things could upset.
  • Best Film Editing: Oppenheimer.
  • Best Visual Effects: Godzilla Minus One. This category also seems wide open. The Creator has a solid chance here too. Both are relatively low budget movies with an impressive look that’s probably fueled by overworking some poor VFX company.
  • Best Production Design: Barbie though it could easily go to Poor Things. Honestly don’t know which, but I think Barbie needs to win something, and I’m betting it’ll be here. Poor Poor Things, I’m betting they’ll be runner up in many categories… though this is the one I think they could actually win (unlike many of the times above when I predicted they’d be runner up).
  • Best Costume Design: Barbie though again Poor Things could easily win. This would be the most stereotypical win for Barbie. The hot takes will be unbearable if it’s the only win (or if it gets shut out).
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Poor Things. I have no idea, maybe Maestro.
  • Best Animated Feature: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • Best Documentary: 20 Days in Mariupol. Russia is bad, and Hollywood wants you to know they think that (this was my reasoning last year, and I think it will work again this year).
  • Best International Feature: The Zone of Interest. Pretty much a lock, I think.
  • Best Original Song: Barbie “I’m Just Ken”. Very possible that “What Was I Made For?” will take this.
  • Best Original Score: Ludwig Goransson for Oppenheimer.

And those are the categories I pick every year. Why don’t I pick the others? It’s a mystery! Anywho, if you’re a weirdo and want to plumb the depths of the Kaedrin archives for old Oscars commentary (if you go far back enough, you can even read what used to be called “liveblogging” of the event, which is what we did before Twitter), all my previous entries are here: [2023 | 2022 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004] (I took a couple of years off there for various reasons). If you are watching and on Twitter, I’m @mciocco (and when the musical performances start, I’ll be posting alcohol @kaedrinbeer). I don’t usually post much, but I’ll be around and obsessively reading Film twitter’s commentary/jokes. I may post a dumb “who should host the Oscars” poll, like I did last year…

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