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Our predictions for who will win big at the 2024 Oscars — and who should actually win

Our predictions for who will win big at the 2024 Oscars — and who should actually win
  • "Oppenheimer" and "Poor Things" are poised to win big at the 2024 Oscars.

  • A win for Robert Downey Jr. could result in a very memorable acceptance speech.

  • One of the biggest questions is which movie will win in the best feature animation category.

Hollywood's biggest night is almost upon us, so it's time to take our best guesses for who will take home the gold in 11 of the main categories. Here are our 2024 Oscar predictions for who will win, who should win, and the potential surprises that could keep things interesting on Sunday.

Best Picture

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, wearing a black raincoat.
Cillian Murphy in "Oppenheimer."Universal Pictures

The nominees:
"American Fiction"
"Anatomy of a Fall"
"Barbie"
"The Holdovers"
"Killers of the Flower Moon"
"Maestro"
"Oppenheimer"
"Past Lives"
"Poor Things"
"The Zone of Interest"

Who will win: "Oppenheimer"

This should not surprise anyone who has paid attention to awards season this year. Christopher Nolan's epic look at the father of the atomic bomb has been cleaning up, and it will do the same come Oscar night.

Who should win: "Oppenheimer" is worthy.

Nolan has paid in this dues, and as one of the last auteurs working within the studio system, his movie fully deserves the win.

Who could surprise us: "Poor Things"

If there's any title that could sneak in as an upset, it would be Yorgos Lanthimos' latest, due to its clever story and elaborate production design. But it's a real long shot.

Best Director

Christopher Nolan in a grey suit and dark tie
"Oppenheimer" director Christopher Nolan.Julien De Rosa/AFP/Getty

The nominees:
Justine Triet, "Anatomy of a Fall"
Martin Scorsese, "Killers of the Flower Moon"
Christopher Nolan, "Oppenheimer"
Yorgos Lanthimos, "Poor Things"
Jonathan Glazer, "The Zone of Interest"

Who will win: Christopher Nolan, "Oppenheimer"

A large part of the success of "Oppenheimer" is due to its director. Nolan has become one of the few filmmakers working today who generates box office. Regardless of what he makes, his fans show up.

It helps that "Oppenheimer" is Nolan at the top of his directing talents — that's the reason he'll be winning his first Oscar on Sunday.

Who should win: Definitely Nolan.

Who could surprise us: It would be a complete shock, but if Yorgos Lanthimos takes the prize, all bets are off on who wins best picture.

Best Actress

JaNae Collins, Lily Gladstone, Cara Jade Myers and Jillian Dion in "Killers of the Flower Moon."
JaNae Collins, Lily Gladstone, Cara Jade Myers and Jillian Dion in "Killers of the Flower Moon."AppleTV+

The nominees:
Annette Bening, "Nyad"
Lily Gladstone, "Killers of the Flower Moon"
Sandra Hüller, "Anatomy of a Fall"
Carey Mulligan, "Maestro"
Emma Stone, "Poor Things"

Who will win: Lily Gladstone, "Killers of the Flower Moon"

Gladstone's riveting performance as a member of the Osage nation who is slowly being killed so that greedy White men can inherit her wealth is the favorite to take the prize.

Under the guidance of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio as her acting partner, Gladstone delivers a work worthy of the esteemed company she's around.

Who should win: Emma Stone, "Poor Things"

I respect Gladstone's tour-de-force performance, but for me, Emma Stone is proving with every performance that she's the best actor of her generation.

Her dark comedic talents are on full display in "Poor Things," and I can't think of any other actor who would have been able to pull off this role other than her.

Who could surprise us: If Emma Stone wins, it would be a surprise to most, though not for me.

Best Actor

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in "Oppenheimer."
Cillian Murphy in "Oppenheimer."Universal Pictures

The nominees:
Bradley Cooper, "Maestro"
Colman Domingo, "Rustin"
Paul Giamatti, "The Holdovers"
Cillian Murphy, "Oppenheimer"
Jeffrey Wright, "American Fiction"

Who will win: Cillian Murphy, "Oppenheimer"

In playing J. Robert Oppenheimer, Murphy didn't just get to finally be the star of a Christopher Nolan movie after many supporting stints — he got to prove to everyone that he is a leading man, period.

Murphy is captivating as Oppenheimer, as he must not just navigate trying to save the world (without blowing it up), but also deal with the consequences that come with being a ladies' man.

Who should win: Murphy is the one.

Who could surprise us: Paul Giamatti, "The Holdovers"

Sometimes Oscar wins are for careers rather than a single performance, which could lead to a Giamatti win.

He's won multiple Golden Globes, he's won an Emmy, and some feel it's his time to get that Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress

Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Mary Lamb in "The Holdovers."
Da'Vine Joy Randolph in "The Holdovers."Seacia Pavao/Focus Features

The nominees:
Emily Blunt, "Oppenheimer"
Danielle Brooks, "The Color Purple"
America Ferrera, "Barbie"
Jodie Foster, "Nyad"
Da'Vine Joy Randolph, "The Holdovers"

Who will win: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, "The Holdovers"

"Oppenheimer" is not the only sure thing on Oscar night; Randolph is also a lock.

Her scene-stealing performance in "The Holdovers" as a cafeteria manager mourning the loss of her son, who was killed in Vietnam, has had her winning seemingly every award she's been nominated for this season.

Who should win: Da'Vine.

Who could surprise us: Nope. It's Da'Vine.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Downey Jr. in "Oppenheimer."
Robert Downey Jr. in "Oppenheimer."Universal Pictures

The nominees:
Sterling K. Brown, "American Fiction"
Robert De Niro, "Killers of the Flower Moon"
Robert Downey Jr., "Oppenheimer"
Ryan Gosling, "Barbie"
Mark Ruffalo, "Poor Things"

Who will win: Robert Downey Jr., "Oppenheimer"

Now, let's get back to handing out awards to "Oppenheimer." Downey Jr. is a lock in this category. Yes, he's great as the vindictive Lewis Strauss, but this is also an award for RDJ's career.

Always thought of as one of the top talents of his generation, Downey Jr.'s drug use almost crippled his career. His rebound since has been remarkable, with roles in "Chaplin," "Tropic Thunder," and culminating with being the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This could be one of the best acceptance speeches of the evening.

Who should win: Downey Jr. or bust.

Who could surprise us: RDJ all the way!

Best Animated Feature

Miles Morales/Spider-Man (voiced by Shameik Moore) in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse."
Miles Morales/Spider-Man (voiced by Shameik Moore) in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse."Sony Pictures Animation

The nominees:
"The Boy and the Heron"
"Elemental"
"Nimona"
"Robot Dreams"
"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"

Who will win: "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"

The sequel to the Oscar-winning 2018 movie "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" levels up with more action, suspense, and Spider-Man characters than you can count.

It also was a box-office smash and critical hit last year. All that equals to Oscar glory.

Who should win: "The Boy and the Heron"

The latest movie from legendary director Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli follows a young boy's journey into a fantasy world. Like "Spider-Verse," it's also a critical darling.

But the difference between the two is Miyazaki. A master of his craft, the story here is a semi-autobiographical work focusing on family, war, and self-discovery.

Who could surprise us: It's going to be "Spider-Verse" or "Heron." This is one of the few categories on Sunday that will bring suspense, as either one could take home the Oscar.

Best Original Screenplay

Woman in a grey suit
Sandra Hüller in "Anatomy of a Fall."Neon

The nominees:
"Anatomy of a Fall"
"The Holdovers"
"Maestro"
"May December"
"Past Lives"

Who will win: "Anatomy of a Fall"

Writer-director Justine Triet mixes a whodunit with courtroom drama to deliver this acclaimed film that follows a woman (Sandra Hüller) trying to prove her innocence amid her husband's death.

Triet's story uses the challenges of being in a relationship to elevate the drama and tension, resulting in a script worthy of an Oscar.

Who should win: The smart money is on "Anatomy."

Who could surprise us: "The Holdovers"

David Hemingson's script, filled with dark humor and character complexities, is the only script that could beat "Anatomy," but it's a long shot.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jeffrey Wright in "American Fiction."
Jeffrey Wright in "American Fiction."MGM/Orion

The nominees:
"American Fiction"
"Barbie"
"Oppenheimer"
"Poor Things"
"The Zone of Interest"

Who will win: "American Fiction"

Cord Jefferson's writing-directing effort starring Jeffrey Wright as a frustrated author who uses a pen name to write a stereotypical "Black" book only to find it hailed as a masterpiece goes deep on issues of race and identity. But its comedic elements are what make it a standout and a frontrunner in this category.

Who should win: "Poor Things"

Personally, I thought this was one of Yorgos Lanthimos' strongest scripts, with its dark comedy and unique, well-developed characters. But do not expect it to be called on Oscar night in this category.

Who could surprise us: "Oppenheimer"

Believe it or not, this is one of the few categories of the evening where "Oppenheimer" is the underdog. It would be a shock if the movie won in this category, but a win would show just how much of a favorite the movie is with the voters.

Best Cinematography

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in "Oppenheimer."
Cillian Murphy in "Oppenheimer."Universal Pictures

The nominees:
"El Conde"
"Killers of the Flower Moon"
"Maestro"
"Oppenheimer"
"Poor Things"

Who will win: "Oppenheimer"

Famed cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema ("Dunkirk," "Tenet," "Nope") once again brings Nolan's vision to the screen, and it likely will result in an Oscar win.

Hoytema's tight shots of Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer convey the genius, ego, and ultimate pain the character is burdened with. In many ways, Hoytema's lens does more to showcase the character than Nolan's words.

Who should win: "Poor Things"

Excuse me while I gush about "Poor Things" again. Robbie Ryan's camera work in this movie — with its funky fish eye lenses and vistas of fictional locales — is a joy to watch. If this were any other year, he'd be the frontrunner in this category.

Who could surprise us: No surprises here. Gonna be "Oppenheimer."

Best Original Song

Margot Robbie as Barbie in "Barbie."
Margot Robbie in "Barbie."Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

The nominees:
"The Fire Inside" — Diane Warren ("Flamin' Hot")
"I'm Just Ken" — Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt ("Barbie")
"It Never Went Away" — Jon Batiste ("American Symphony")
"Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)" — Scott George ("Killers of the Flower Moon")
"What Was I Made For?" — Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell ("Barbie")

Who will win: "What Was I Made For?" — Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell ("Barbie")

Sadly, "Barbie" will likely not be taking home many Oscars, but this one is a lock for a win. And along with the prize, we'll also see Billie Eilish perform this song at the show.

Who should win: Definitely Billie and Finneas.

Who could surprise us: We wish we could see a path where Diane Warren, who has been nominated 15 times over her career but has never won, gets the gold. But it's not going to happen. Again.

Read the original article on Business Insider