Oscars 2024: Pick Your Winner

The nominations for the 96th Academy Awards just dropped, and they’re more diverse than ever before.
Oscars 2024: Pick Your Winner
Oscars 2024: Pick Your Winner

Last evening, the list of nominees for the Academy Awards dropped and long before the actual ceremony (on 11th March), the Oscars are making history this year. The nominations include Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon (2023), making her the first Native American actress to be nominated in the Best Actress category. Colman Domingo, who secured a nomination for his performance in Rustin (2023), is the first Afro-Latino actor to have been nominated in the Best Actor category. The Best Picture category includes three films directed by women (whether this makes up for only one woman director being nominated in the Best Director category is for you to decide), which is a new record for this award. Additionally, four out of 10 films in the Best Picture list are comedies (American Fiction, Barbie, The Holdovers and Poor Things) which is unusual. More predictably, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is leading the charts with 13 nominations, followed by Poor Things, which secured 11 nods, and Killers of the Flower Moon which has 10 nominations.  

(Poor Things is among the Oscar nominated films that have not had theatrical releases in India. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that they make their way to us before the awards ceremony.)

Fans of Barbie, the highest-grossing film of last year, have taken to the internet to complain that director Greta Gerwig was snubbed and pointed out the irony of a man (Ryan Gosling as Ken for Best Actor) being nominated over the women helming the film. Gosling has reportedly penned a strongly-worded letter to the Academy, championing Gerwig and Margot Robbie, who played Barbie and has produced the film. Also feeling snubbed are fans of May December, which perplexingly is not available to Netflix subscribers in India despite being a Netflix film. (It seems the platform figures its Indian audience would rather watch a rebooted He-Man than a Todd Haynes film, with Natalie Portman in the lead.)

Film history geeks will point out that the Oscars are not necessarily a barometer for quality cinema, but over its 95-year history, the Academy has garnered a reputation of excellence. The Oscars represent the best of mainstream cinema and after going through the list of nominations, we’ve picked our favourites and made predictions for the major categories. Film Companion’s favourite picks are in bold. The films with an asterisk next to them are the ones we’re predicting as winners.

Best Picture

American Fiction

Anatomy of a Fall


The Holdovers

Killers of the Flower Moon


Oppenheimer *

Past Lives

Poor Things

The Zone of Interest

FC Note: Of the 10 Oscar-nominated films, only five are available or have had theatrical releases in India. We’re hoping that number will rise to seven since The Holdovers and The Zone of Interest are expected to release over the coming weeks. 

Best Director 

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  

FC Note: WHERE IS ALEXANDER PAYNE? Payne, who reunited with his Sideways (2004) collaborator Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, deserved a nomination. However, don’t ask us who to drop from this otherwise excellent list of nominees to include Payne. 

Actor in a Leading Role 

Bradley Cooper — Maestro *

Colman Domingo — Rustin

Paul Giamatti — The Holdovers

Cillian Murphy — Oppenheimer *

Jeffrey Wright — American Fiction 

Actress in a Leading Role 

Annette Bening — Nyad  

Lily Gladstone — Killers of the Flower Moon  *

Sandra Hüller — Anatomy of a Fall  

Carey Mulligan — Maestro 

Emma Stone — Poor Things

Snubbed: Greta Lee in Past Lives. There’s no denying Gladstone’s performance is incandescent and she deserves to be tipped as a favourite, but Lee deserved a nomination. 

Actor in a Supporting Role

Sterling K. Brown — American Fiction  

Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon

Robert Downey Jr. — Oppenheimer *

Ryan Gosling — Barbie  

Mark Ruffalo — Poor Things 

Snubbed: Willem Dafoe for Poor Things

Actress in a Supporting Role 

Emily Blunt — Oppenheimer  *

Danielle Brooks — The Color Purple  

America Ferrera – Barbie

Jodie Foster — Nyad  

Da’Vine Joy Randolph — The Holdovers  

Adapted Screenplay

American Fiction, written for the screen by Cord Jefferson

Barbie, written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach *

Oppenheimer, written for the screen by Christopher Nolan *

Poor Things, screenplay by Tony McNamara

The Zone of Interest, written by Jonathan Glazer

FC Note: Barbenheimer redux, the Oscar edition. 

Original Screenplay

Anatomy of a Fall, screenplay by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari *

The Holdovers, written by David Hemingson

Maestro, written by Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer 

May December, screenplay by Samy Burch; story by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik

Past Lives, written by Celine Song 


El Conde – Edward Lachman

Killers of the Flower Moon – Rodrigo Prieto

Maestro – Matthew Libatique

Oppenheimer – Hoyte van Hoytema *

Poor Things – Robbie Ryan

Original Song 

“The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot, music and lyric by Diane Warren

“I’m Just Ken” from Barbie, music and lyric by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt

“It Never Went Away” from American Symphony, music and lyric by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson

“Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon, music and lyric by Scott George *

“What Was I Made For?” from Barbie, music and lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Costume Design 

Barbie – Jacqueline Durran *

Killers of the Flower Moon – Jacqueline West

Napoleon – Janty Yates and Dave Crossman

Oppenheimer – Ellen Mirojnick

Poor Things – Holly Waddington

Original Score 

American Fiction – Laura Karpman

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny — John Williams

Killers of the Flower Moon – Robbie Robertson

Oppenheimer – Ludwig Göransson *

Poor Things – Jerskin Fendrix

Live Action Short Film

The After, Misan Harriman and Nicky Bentham

Invincible, Vincent René-Lortie and Samuel Caron

Knight of Fortune, Lasse Lyskjær Noer and Christian Norlyk

Red, White and Blue, Nazrin Choudhury and Sara McFarlane

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Wes Anderson and Steven Rales

FC Note: To be honest, the only short film we’ve watched in this category is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. But also it’s Wes Anderson (come on).

Snubbed: Pedro Almodóvar’s Strange Way of Life.

Documentary Feature Film 

Bobi Wine: The People’s President, Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp and John Battsek

The Eternal Memory, Maite Alberdi

Four Daughters, Kaouther Ben Hania and Nadim Cheikhrouha

To Kill a Tiger, Nisha Pahuja, Cornelia Principe and David Oppenheim

20 Days in Mariupol, Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner and Raney Aronson-Rath *

FC Recco: Anand Patwardhan’s The World is Family. The director turns the camera on his parents, and the film is an emotional recounting  of a generation that was there for the birth of modern-day India, and the many shades of patriotism and idealism that informed their lives.

International Feature Film 

Io Capitano (Italy)  

Perfect Days (Japan)  

Society of the Snow (Spain)  

The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany) 

The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom) *

Animated Feature Film 

The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki *

Elemental, Peter Sohn and Denise Ream

Nimona, Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Karen Ryan and Julie Zackary

Robot Dreams, Pablo Berger, Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé and Sandra Tapia Díaz

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Amy Pascal

Snubbed: We’re glad the Academy looked beyond the obvious to shine a light on the brilliant Nimona (it’s available on Netflix), but Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume is a beautiful homage to earthquake-ravaged Japan, and is arguably the auteur’s best work. 

Production Design 

Barbie, production design: Sarah Greenwood; set decoration: Katie Spencer *

Killers of the Flower Moon, production design: Jack Fisk; set decoration: Adam Willis

Napoleon, production design: Arthur Max; set decoration: Elli Griff

Oppenheimer, production design: Ruth De Jong; set decoration: Claire Kaufman

Poor Things, production design: James Price and Shona Heath; set decoration: Zsuzsa Mihalek

Film Editing

Anatomy of a Fall – Laurent Sénéchal

The Holdovers – Kevin Tent

Killers of the Flower Moon – Thelma Schoonmaker

Oppenheimer – Jennifer Lame

Poor Things – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

FC Note: Best of luck to the Academy for choosing one winner among these stellar nominations.

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