The Student Publication of Keystone

The Keynote

The Student Publication of Keystone

The Keynote

The Student Publication of Keystone

The Keynote

2024 Oscars: Picks and Predictions

2024 Oscars: Picks and Predictions

2023 was one of the best years for movies I’ve ever fully experienced. Every single month, it felt like there was another event film, and on some weekends, it was impossible to see every important new movie. Usually, I don’t expect the Academy to actually nominate the best films of the year, but this time they did it. In my opinion, every nominee for Best Picture movie is at least worthy of being nominated, with 9 out of 10 being great. Despite completely shutting out one of my personal favorite movies of the year from the nominations (Asteroid City), I’m pleasantly surprised. Here are my picks and predictions for the major categories of the Oscars:


Best Actor in a Leading Role  – 

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

Pick: Cillian Murphy

Prediction: Cillian Murphy

While the Best Actor category is strong this year, there’s one clear winner here. In Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy’s eyes are the key to everything, and with that final scene, one look horrified the world. I also really enjoyed Paul Giamatti, and if anyone else has a chance of getting the award it’s him. In The Holdovers, he hilariously and powerfully portrays a lonely teacher who finds inspiration in unlikely places.


Best Actor in a Supporting Role – 

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).

Pick: Ryan Gosling

Prediction: Robert Downey Jr.

Oppenheimer will sweep this year’s best actor categories. Despite how stacked this category is, the narrative is too strong for RDJ. After being stuck in Marvel prison for years, he came back and showed everyone how good of an actor he is with this powerful, talky performance. I love every performance in this category and it’s a shame they won’t all be recognized. Ryan Gosling and Mark Ruffalo are absolutely hilarious in their respective roles, with Ryan Gosling easily being my most memorable supporting actor this year. Robert De Niro also nailed absolute evil in this year’s Scorsese masterpiece, Killers of the Flower Moon


Best Actress in a Leading Role – 

Nominees: Annette Bening (Nyad), Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall), Carey Mulligan (Maestro), Emma Stone (Poor Things).

Pick: Sandra Hüller 

Prediction: Lily Gladstone

This category is a tough one. If they were all nominated in separate years, Emma Stone, Lily Gladstone, and Sandra Hüller would all be taking home awards, but the fact is we got some all-time great lead actress performances this year. I love what Sandra Hüller did in Anatomy of a Fall especially, allowing the audience to feel the anguish the murder suspect she plays feels while never letting the truth escape. However, the  Academy is most likely going to award Lily Gladstone for bringing the most power to the table here. Lily Gladstone is the heartbeat of Killers of the Flower Moon.


Best Actress in a Supporting Role – 

Nominees: Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer), Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple), America Ferrera (Barbie), Jodie Foster (Nyad), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The Holdovers).

Pick: Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Prediction: Da’Vine Joy Randolph

This is her award, no question. Da’Vine is head and shoulders above the rest of this category, being the most important to the movie she’s in out of these roles. She embodies everything that makes The Holdovers a bittersweet film in its depiction of holiday season loneliness. 


Best Directing – 

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

Pick: Jonathan Glazer

Prediction: Christopher Nolan

They’ve got to give it to Nolan this year. He’s been at the top of his field for decades, and while I find the choices made by Glazer in The Zone of Interest to be bolder and more effective than anything else done in this category, Oppenheimer may be Nolan’s best work ever, and he deserves this award.


Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – 

Nominees: Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer), Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach (Barbie), Cord Jefferson (American Fiction), Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest), Tony McNamara (Poor Things).

Pick: Christopher Nolan

Prediction: Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach

While I believe Oppenheimer to have the best script this year, Barbie has the strongest chance of taking this award, even though it’s not really an adapted screenplay. Gerwig and Baumbach took on an extremely difficult assignment by writing a Barbie movie, and they made something funny, emotionally satisfying, and incredibly developed for an IP movie. It should win.


Best Writing (Original Screenplay) –

Nominees: Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall), David Hemingson (The Holdovers), Bradley Cooper (Maestro), Samy Burch (May December), Celine Song (Past Lives).

Pick: Celine Song

Prediction: David Hemingson 

I would really like to pick May December here, given that it was one of my favorite films of the year, but I realized that film finds more of its power through directing and performances–which is why it makes no sense that it was snubbed in every other category this year. Past Lives has a rock solid, beautiful, simple script that I love the most this year, but I think the Academy will recognize The Holdovers in this category for the way it seamlessly brings together three unalike characters in such a beautiful way. The Holdovers also finds beauty in simplicity, and I think that’s what has defined the best original scripts of this year.


Best Picture – 

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

Pick: Oppenheimer

Prediction: Oppenheimer

Even in one of the strongest years for Best Picture nominees of my life, Oppenheimer is a clear pick here. American Fiction is timely, effective satire, Barbie is an impressive and entertaining blockbuster, Anatomy of a Fall and Killers of the Flower both zip through their runtimes with confident, assured directing, Past Lives is a simple yet effective indie, and Zone of Interest is stomach churning and unbelievable. Despite this incredible year, Oppenheimer accomplishes so much in its 3 hour runtime, and cements Christopher Nolan as one of the great filmmakers of our generation.


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About the Contributor
Octavio is a senior at keystone whose interests include independent music, film, and modern political issues.

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