Oscar 2024 Nominations, Snubs, Surprises & Analysis

It’s that time of the year again. The Academy Award nominations for the year 2024 are finally out. 2023 has seen a variety of great films and a slew of spectacular performances, some of which will get duly rewarded in the iconic Dolby Theater, LA, on March 10th. There are films and performances that didn’t make it to the nominations, even though they were no less than the ones nominated—at least quality-wise. We’re going to look into this year’s nominations category-wise, as well as the snubs and surprises. Here we go.


Original Score, Original Song, And Sound

We can all agree upon one thing: Ludwig Göransson is going to pick up the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his phenomenal work in Oppenheimer. Anything other than that would be a major surprise. Nonetheless, congratulations to all the other nominees. Oppenheimer is also the clear favorite to win in the Sound category, unless the Academy throws a curveball at us with Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning—Part I.

As far as the song category goes, with two songs from Barbie making the cut, it can be said that the Greta Gerwig film is a frontrunner to pick up the trophy here. However, I do believe that A Song for My People which was used in Apple’s Killers of the Flower Moon has an outside chance here. But I guess it’s safe to anticipate another Ryan Gosling meme moment after the emphatic win of “I’m Just Ken.”.


Costume, Makeup And Hairstyling, And Production Design

There is not much to say about these categories other than the nominees, which are mostly expected. It can be anybody’s game, but I would pick Poor Things for costume, Maestro for makeup and hairstyling, and Barbie for production design. It’s a pity that Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, the film that was the most impressive in all three of these categories, fails to earn a single nomination.

Animation, Documentary, And Shorts

It should be Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse versus The Boy and the Hero in the Best Animated Feature category. But all the other films in the category have been received pretty well. Four Daughters is the most talked-about film to be nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category and will probably pick up the trophy. Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar should be deemed the favorite in the Live Action Short category. The animated short and documentary short categories are the ones that could belong to anyone.


Cinematography And Visual Effects

Cinematography is one of the categories in which I take an interest personally, and with Saltburn not finding a place amongst the nominees, I don’t think we’ve got a locked in winner this year. However, Oppenheimer might just be it if we do see the film sweeping up every possible award. Would we mind seeing the very talented Hoyte van Hoytema get the prize? Absolutely not. Although the Academy might just hand it to Robbie Ryan for his fascinating work behind the camera in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things.

The Visual Effect Category is comparatively tricky, although I would pick Oppenheimer as the one with the maximum possibility of winning here as well. Although, the possibility of Godzilla: Minus One snatching one award away from Oppenheimer sounds quite exciting.


Best Editing

Let us make things a bit more fun and make a proper prediction at the end of each segment from here on. Editing is something that practically decides the fate of a film, and getting recognized in this category is a huge deal. Thelma Schoonmaker is certainly the most celebrated name here, but I believe both Jennifer Lame Oppenheimer and Laurent Sénéchal Anatomy of a Fall have better chances.

Will win / should win: Jennifer Lame Oppenheimer


Best International Feature

Can we agree that this is the most popular category among the majority of cinephiles all around the world? While I leave that question to you, it’s certainly my personal favorite, and I am very much looking forward to seeing who wins here. Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest seems stronger than all the other nominees at this point, and I don’t see an upset here. If only Japan had sent Hirokazu Koreeda’s Monster, easily one of the best films of last year and recent times!

Will win / should win: The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom)


Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

I’m not going to go into the ludicrousness of Barbie landing in this category instead of the original screenplay, because it is futile at this point. The problem is that this lessens Gerwig and Baumbach’s chances of actually winning because Oppenheimer is the more conventional choice, and the Academy is not particularly known for being daring. It’s not that American Fiction, Poor Things, and The Zone of Interest don’t stand a chance, but Barbie and Oppenheimer are clearly where I would put my money. Barbie triumphing here is one of my Oscar wishes this year, as it will cause a huge meltdown among the “cinephile” circuit. On a serious note, I do believe the film actually deserves it.

Will win / should win: Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer) / Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach (Barbie).


Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

It is really good to see Past Lives and May December, two very deserving, fantastic films, making their way here. However, with no Barbenheimer influence in this category, it can be safely said that Anatomy of a Fall is the way the wind is going to blow.

Will win / should win: Justin Triet and Arthur Harari (Anatomy of a Fall)


Best Actress In A Supporting Role

It’s Emily Blunt’s award to lose, and she is not going to. Congratulations to all the other nominees, especially America Ferrera, who has come a long way from Superstore to here.

Will win / should win: Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer)


Best Actor In A Supporting Role

Among all the acting performances in Oppenheimer, including the one by Cillian Murphy, which also got nominated (in the Best Actor in a Lead Role category), Robert Downey Jr. has been the standout for sure. His menacing performance in Oppenheimer has been so impactful that sometimes I forget that this is the same guy who wore the Iron Man suit for all those years.

Ryan Gosling’s Ken, on the other hand, has easily been the best thing about Barbie. While Gosling made it look so easy, we all know how hard it would be for an actor to play a part like that. Not to mention, watching him go berserk with “I’m just Ken” was one of the greatest cinematic highs that we had this year. With all that said, I do believe Downey Jr. has the better chance among the two. All three other nominees—the legendary Robert De Niro, Sterling K. Brown, and Mark Ruffalo—are phenomenal actors, but this is not their year to receive Oscar glory.


Will win / should win: Robert Downey Jr. (Oppenheimer)

Best Actress In A Leading Role

Emma Stone and Lily Gladstone both got the Golden Globe this year, which could only happen because of the Globe’s way of dividing the top categories into separate drama and comedy genres. But this is the Academy Award, and the chances of seeing joint winners are really low. With Emma Stone already having one in her kitty, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Academy gave it to Gladstone this year, who, by the way, is completely deserving. Sandra Hüller’s performance in Anatomy of a Fall is nothing short of extraordinary, and she does have an outside chance of pulling off an upset.


Will win / should win: Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon)

Best Actor In A Leading Role

While the lead actress category is a potential two-horse race, I don’t think anyone other than Cillian Murphy will have any say in this category. Jeffrey Wright, Coleman Domingo, Paul Giamatti, and Bradley Cooper are all amazing, but beating Murphy seems like a Herculean task for any of them, really.


Will win / should win: Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer)

Best Directing

We know that Chris Nolan has never gotten this one, and considering the Oppenheimer wave, this is probably going to be his year. But here’s the thing: Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall is a fantastic original film in every possible way, effortlessly shifting between courtroom drama and psychological thriller. Triet has not only directed this one; she also co-wrote the screenplay. Of course, Nolan did show why he’s hailed as one of the greatest of the modern era with Oppenheimer, but Triet clinching it over him would be a nice surprise. As far as the other three nominees, Scorcese, Lanthimos, and Glazer are all legendary directors who have delivered three brilliant films this year, but in this year’s race, Nolan and Triet are leading at this point, and one of them is going to win this one.


Will win/should win: Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer) / Justin Triet (Anatomy of a Fall)

Best Picture

The most exciting thing about this category is the fact that the Academy now nominates as many as ten films, which effectively means at least one or two genuinely brilliant films that might not have scored a nomination in any other categories are getting a nod here. However, all ten nominees for this year are present in at least one other category. I am happy to see that two of my three favorite films of 2023 are on the list of nominees, but anything other than Oppenheimer winning this year would be a shocker. The Zone of Interest and Anatomy of a Fall are the only films here that might just make Oppenheimer achieving ultimate glory a bit difficult, but that’s about it.


Will win/should win: Oppenheimer/Anatomy of a Fall.

And Finally, The Snubs And Surprises

Here we are, in my favorite segment. First of all, I don’t think any film has managed to be as impactful as Hirokazu Koreeda’s Monster in 2023, and in years to come, the film is going to become a cult classic. But since the film was surprisingly snubbed by its own country, we’re not going to consider it a snub or surprise here.


Academy voters have this notorious tendency of nominating films that are scoring big in other categories; otherwise, in a fair world, I don’t see Maestro finding its place in the “Best Picture” category, ahead of Saltburn and The Iron Claws. Speaking of Saltburn, Barry Keoghan’s performance in the lead role is my personal favorite lead performance of the year, but looking at the nominations, it can be deduced that the Academy didn’t quite take the film seriously, which is really sad. Not to mention, Saltburn would have aced in Costume, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Production Design as well, had it been nominated.

Barbie may have managed to earn eight nominations, including the “Best Picture” category, but Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig not getting a nod in their respective categories really doesn’t make any sense. Gerwig missing out in the direction category is especially unbelievable, given that the film wouldn’t have happened without her directorial vision.

While you might be heartbroken over Leo DiCaprio getting snubbed in the Lead Actor category for his performance in Killers of the Flower Moon, I am not at all surprised given the film clearly belongs to Lily Gladstone, who deservingly got nominated and will possibly win the award. It’s not that DiCaprio didn’t do well in the film, but this is clearly not one of his best performances. If anyone from Killers of the Flower Moon was deprived, then that has to be Eric Roth and Marty Scorcese himself in the “Adapted Screenplay” category. On the other hand, I wish Mads Mikkelsen had gotten at least a nod for his fantastic performance in A Promised Land. The film was also in contention for the “Best International Feature” segment. Speaking of which, Aki Kaurismäki’s latest, Fallen Leaves, not making it to the top five is a shocker, given the film’s popularity on the award circuit. 

Last but not least, Past Lives did score deserving nominations in the “Best Picture” and “Original Screenplay” categories, but the omission of its leading actress, Greta Lee, in the “Lead Actress” category and director, Celine Song, in the “Best Directing” category is nothing short of blasphemous.

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Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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