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2024 Oscars Nominations: What We Predict

The 97th Academy Awards nominations are set to be announced on January 23, 2024. With the awards season in full swing, speculation is well under way as to who will be taking home an Oscar in just a few weeks.

Let's dissect the whispers and crown the frontrunners.

In the tightly packed race for Best Picture, Christopher Nolan's ‘Oppenheimer’, a biopic of the nuclear physicist, emerges as the odds-on favourite. Its historical weight, Nolan's pedigree, and Cillian Murphy's transformative performance are the not-so-secret ingredients for an Oscar’s [mine] sweep.

Hot on its heels is Martin Scorsese's ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’, a suspenseful tale set in 1920s Oklahoma with a star-studded cast including Leonardo DiCaprio and Brendan Fraser, who recently made his return to the public eye when he starred in the 2023 film ‘the Whale’. Yorgos Lanthimos' ‘Poor Things’, a darkly comedic period drama, ‘The Zone of Interest’, a searing Holocaust drama, and ‘Anatomy of a Fall’, a poignant thriller, round out the expected contenders.

Best Actor boasts a powerhouse lineup. Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ and Cillian Murphy in ‘Oppenheimer’ are neck-and-neck, both delivering captivating portrayals of real-life figures, and both actors are greatly established and admired within the industry. Robert De Niro and Simu Liu, for their contrasting roles in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ and ‘Barbie’, respectively, may shake things up. ‘Barbie’ is certainly a complete 180° turn from the dark and dramatic ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ and ‘Oppenheimer’.

The Best Actress race promises fireworks. Emma Stone shines in ‘Poor Things’, already sweeping up Golden Globe awards for her performance, delivering Lanthimos' trademark blend of absurdity and emotion. Cate Blanchett brings her chameleon-like talents to Maestro. 

Danielle Brooks might surprise us with a win for her supporting role in The Color Purple, but don’t be surprised if Margot Robbie snags a nomination for her titular role in ‘Barbie’. This would be a welcome change from the generally accepted narrative that actors should only receive recognition for playing more sombre roles, and Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ was far more than a ‘film about a doll’ as ridiculed by many personalities on public forums.

In the spotlight for Best Director, Nolan stands tall for ‘Oppenheimer’, but Scorsese's mastery in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ demands attention. Lanthimos' unique vision in ‘Poor Things’ could be a dark horse, while Paul Thomas Anderson's ‘The Holdovers’, a charming ensemble piece, might sneak in. 

I’d be surprised if Best Director wasn’t awarded to Nolan or Scorsese. If not for their vast renown in the world of film, Oppenheimer was one of the most talked-about films of the year, with its release highly anticipated since its announcement, and Scorsese is a film giant. Again, I feel as if Greta Gerwig is underestimated for her directing of ‘Barbie’, since ‘Little Women’ was released in 2019. 

For visual effects and technical triumphs, ‘Oppenheimer’ is expected to dominate, from its recreated nuclear explosion to its meticulous period detail. ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ and ‘The Zone of Interest’ are also likely to vie for cinematography and production design nods. This Hungarian-German production, and ‘Anatomy of a Fall’, a Spanish gem, add international flair to the mix. Don't be surprised if they are awarded nominations in Best International Feature or even Best Picture.

Keep an eye on ‘Rustin,’ George C. Wolfe's biographical drama about Bayard Rustin, a crucial figure in the Civil Rights movement. Its powerful story and standout performances, especially from Colman Domingo, are not to be overlooked, although most biopics were overshadowed by ‘Oppenheimer’ this year.

Remember, the Oscars have a flair for the unexpected. Will Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu's comedic bromance in Barbie charm voters? Can ‘The Holdovers’’ heartwarming community tale resonate with Academy members? 

Only on  January 23, 2024, will the announcement will reveal the full picture.

So, mark your calendars, prepare your popcorn, and delve into the Oscar buzz. From seasoned veterans to exciting newcomers, the 97th Academy Awards promise a night of glitz, glamour, and unforgettable cinema.

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