Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The Oscars - 2024: My Predictions

The 2024 Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at 7pm EST on ABC. Generally speaking, I always try to watch all the best picture nominees first and foremost. This year,  I managed to watch all 53 of the nominated films. That's right, I watched every film (all legally), in every category at least once. Many thanks goes out to the local historic Tower Theater in Sacramento, where they often show movies that are harder to find playing elsewhere. Still, I've surprised myself by doing this. Will it make a difference in my predictions? Who knows. It is still cool (to me, at least) to say that I saw them all (and before the ceremony).

That being said, here are my predictions with who I think will win and who I think should win - 

Best Picture

American Fiction 
Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Who I think will win: Oppenheimer
Who I think should win: The Holdovers

Comments: The Holdovers was my all-around favorite movie of the bunch, but I can't see anything overtaking Oppenheimer for this award. My personal ranking for this category would be as follows: The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer, Poor Things, Past Lives, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, Maestro, American Fiction, The Zone of Interest.

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)

Who I think will win: Christopher Nolan
Who I think should win: Christopher Nolan

Comments: Christopher Nolan proved once again that he's one of the best directors out there. It'd be a shocker if he doesn't win this award. 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper (Maestro)
Colman Domingo (Rustin)
Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers)
Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer)
Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction)

Who I think will win: Paul Giamatti
Who I think should win: Paul Giamatti

Comments: Based on the previous award ceremonies leading up to the Oscars (Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics Choice Awards, etc.) this seems like a toss-up between Paul Giamatti and Cillian Murphy. I'm giving the slight edge to Giamatti for this one, who would also be my personal pick to win. 

Best 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)

Who I think will win: Lily Gladstone
Who I think should win: Lily Gladstone

Comments: This award will likely go to either Lily Gladstone or Emma Stone. I wouldn't have a problem with either one winning the award, but I'm going with Lily Gladstone to make history

Best 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)

Who I think will win: Robert Downey Jr.
Who I think should win: Mark Ruffalo

Comments: My personal favorite performance of this great group of actors was from Mark Ruffalo. However, Robert Downey Jr. appears to be the clear favorite. Sterling K. Brown is a great actor but I don't feel that he should have the been the actor cast for his particular role. Ryan Gosling gives a fun performance as Ken, but in this case, it isn't Kenough. 

Best 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)

Who I think will win:  Da'Vine Randolph 
Who I think should win: Da'Vine Randolph

Comments: Da'Vine Randolph did amazing and deserves to win, however, I feel not enough is being said about Danielle Brooks' performance in The Color Purple. 

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

American Fiction (Written for the screen by Cord Jefferson)
Barbie (Written by Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach)
Oppenheimer (Written for the screen by Christopher Nolan)
Poor Things (Screenplay by Tony McNamara)
The Zone of Interest (Written by Jonathan Glazer)

Who I think will win: American Fiction
Who I think should win: Poor Things

Comments: Poor Things was weird, but I liked that it was different, so it'd be my pick. 

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Anatomy of a Fall (Screenplay by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari)
The Holdovers (Written by David Hemingson)
Maestro (Written by Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer)
May December (Screenplay by Samy Burch; Story by Samy Burch & Alex Mechanik)
Past Lives (Written by Celine Song)

Who I think will win:  Anatomy of a Fall 
Who I think should win: Past Lives

Comments: I'll be surprised if Anatomy of a Fall doesn't win this award. Past Lives would be my personal pick. I was impressed with how simple the story of Past Lives was but still how powerful the story was too. 

Best Animated Feature

The Boy and the Heron 
Robot Dreams 
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

Who I think will win:  The Boy and the Heron 
Who I think should win: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

Comments: I think this one is up in the air between Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and The Boy and The Heron. While I enjoyed both, I preferred Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse a tad more.

Best Documentary Feature

Bobi Wine: The People’s President 
The Eternal Memory 
Four Daughters 
To Kill a Tiger 
20 Days in Mariupol 

Who I think will win: 20 Days in Mariupol 
Who I think should win: Bobi Wine: The People’s President 

Comments: It is always hard for me to judge documentary movies as the impact they have on different people varies. Sometimes you may already know about a subject before watching the film, but sometimes what you learn from a documentary is all brand new. For me, Bobi Wine: The People’s President, is my personal winner because of the amount of things I learned by watching the film. That being said, 20 Days in Mariupol will likely take this award. As the Russian invasion begins, a team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting the war's atrocities. It is a powerful documentary that isn't easy to watch and makes me sad that it ever had to be made in the first place. 

Best International Feature Film

Io Capitano (Italy)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Society of the Snow (Spain)
The Teacher’s Lounge (Germany)
The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom)

Who I think will win: The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom)
Who I think should win: The Teacher’s Lounge (Germany)

Comments: This year's International Feature Film candidates are a strong group! Funny thing is, I enjoyed all of them except for the one that is most likely to win. Seeing how it is also up for Best Picture, I don't see how The Zone Of Interest doesn't win this award. For me, it doesn't keep my interest.  There was no real story or no character that I really cared about. I understand what the film was trying to do, but it didn't work for me. Personally, I really liked The Teacher's Lounge, with Perfect Days being a closed second. 

Best Animated Short Film

Letter to a Pig 
Ninety-Five Senses 
Our Uniform 
War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko 

Who I think will win: War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko 
Who I think should win: Ninety-Five Senses 

Comments: War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko features a song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The timing of the song in the short itself though makes it comical which I don't think is what they wanted. Peter Jackson was also a partner on the making of the short film which gives me the idea it'll probably win. I personally really enjoyed Ninety-Five Senses, especially Tim Blake Nelson's voice work in the film. 

Best Live-Action Short Film

The After 
Knight of Fortune 
Red, White and Blue 
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar 

Who I think will win: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar 
Who I think should win: Invincible 

Comments: Here is another one where the winner might be based on name recognition. Wes Anderson delivered a bunch of shorts to Netflix and among them was The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar adapted from stories written by Roald Dahl. I generally enjoy Wes Anderson films, but I found this short to be just okay. Personally, I thought Invincible was amazing. 

Best Documentary Short Film

The ABCs of Book Banning
The Barber of Little Rock
Island in Between
The Last Repair Shop
Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó 

Who I think will win: The Last Repair Shop
Who I think should win: The Last Repair Shop

Comments: I might be wrong, but The Last Repair Shop was just a level above all the others in this category. 

Best Cinematography

El Conde (Edward Lachman)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Rodrigo Prieto)
Maestro (Matthew Libatique)
Oppenheimer (Hoyte van Hoytema)
Poor Things (Robbie Ryan)

Who I think will win: Oppenheimer
Who I think should win: Oppenheimer

Comments: Poor Things might have an outside chance for this award, but I think Oppenheimer is in the driver's seat here. 

Best 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)

Who I think will win: Barbie
Who I think should win: Barbie

Comments: Good news, Barbie isn't going to go home empty handed. She'll be able to place this Oscar in her dream house. 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Golda (Karen Hartley Thomas, Suzi Battersby and Ashra Kelly-Blue)
Maestro (Kazu Hiro, Kay Georgiou and Lori McCoy-Bell)
Oppenheimer (Luisa Abel)
Poor Things (Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston)
Society of the Snow (Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí and Montse Ribé)

Who I think will win: Maestro
Who I think should win: Maestro 

Comments: Bradley Cooper looked just like Leonard Bernstein. 

Best 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)

Who I think will win: “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie (Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell)
Who I think should win:“What Was I Made For?” from Barbie (Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell)

Comments: I don't think anyone can beat Billie Eilish right now.... well, unless Taylor Swift was nominated, but she isn't so... 

Best 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)

Who I think will win: Oppenheimer
Who I think should win: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Comments: This one is a tough call with some amazing composers up for the award. I feel Oppenheimer will win, but wouldn't be upset if Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ended up with this award. 

Best 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)

Who I think will win: Barbie
Who I think should win: Barbie

Comments: This was is hard to guess, but I believe Barbie will pull off a win here with its elaborate set designs. 

Best 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)

Who I think will win: Oppenheimer
Who I think should win: Oppenheimer

Comments: This should be a no doubter for Oppenheimer.

Best Sound

The Creator (Ian Voigt, Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn, Tom Ozanich and Dean Zupancic)
Maestro (Steven A. Morrow, Richard King, Jason Ruder, Tom Ozanich and Dean Zupancic)
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One (Chris Munro, James H. Mather, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor)
Oppenheimer (Willie Burton, Richard King, Gary A. Rizzo and Kevin O’Connell)
The Zone of Interest (Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn)

Who I think will win: Oppenheimer 
Who I think should win: Oppenheimer 

Comments: I'll be annoyed if anything but Oppenheimer wins this award. 

Best Visual Effects

The Creator (Jay Cooper, Ian Comley, Andrew Roberts and Neil Corbould)
Godzilla: Minus One (Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams and Theo Bialek)
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One (Alex Wuttke, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland and Neil Corbould)
Napoleon (Charley Henley, Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet, Simone Coco and Neil Corbould)

Who I think will win: Godzilla: Minus One
Who I think should win: Godzilla: Minus One

Comments: How is Oppenheimer not nominated for this category? I'm personally want Godzilla: Minus One to win because it was so impressive and was a low budget film...and maybe the Academy will view it the same way as me. 

There you have it, those are my predictions and thoughts.... but....

If I could add one random award....

Most Cigarettes Smoked - it'd be a close race between the movies Maestro and Golda, but I think Golda smokes the competition here.