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96th Oscars Nominations Reactions & Predictions

Welcome back to the blog readers. 2023 was a great year for film, and now as we begin to look to the future, it is time to celebrate the year that passed. The biggest award ceremony for film, the Academy Awards, has announced its nominees, and I wanted to take the time like I did last year to react to some of the big categories and give my take on who will be bringing home the trophies when the ceremony commences on March 10.


Best Cinematography

  • El Conde - Edward Lachman

  • Killers of the Flower Moon - Rodrigo Prieto

  • Maestro - Matthew Libatique

  • Oppenheimer - Hoyte van Hoytema

  • Poor Things - Robbie Ryan

This will definitely be an interesting category to watch. Oppenheimer has been the only film of these five that I have seen thus far, so obviously I have a bias here. Although my opinion could change upon viewing the other films (save for El Conde), Oppenheimer is my pick to win the award as of this moment. If Hoyte van Hoytema wins, it would be his first win against two nominations (he was previously nominated for Dunkirk (2017)).


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 - Stephanie Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams, and Theo Bialek

  • Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Alex Wuttke, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland, and Neil Corbould

  • Napoleon - Charley Henley, Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet, Simone Coco, and Neil Corbould

Another tightly-knit category for me here. While I have not seen The Creator or Napoleon yet (they are on my radar), the other three films all have legitimate shots to win it here. My money is on two though: Godzilla Minus One and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Superhero films normally don't get a whole lot of love at award ceremonies, so I believe that Godzilla Minus One will get the win here. The damn film was made for less than $15 million!


Best Original Song

  • "The Fire Inside" from Flamin' Hot - Music and lyrics by Diane Warren

  • "I'm Just Ken" from Barbie - Music and lyrics by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt

  • "It Never Went Away" from American Symphony - Music and lyrics by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson

  • "Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)" from Killers of the Flower Moon - Music and lyrics by Scott George

  • "What Was I Made For?" from Barbie - Music and Lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell

This category is the first gimme of the bunch. While some people (including my friend) are pissed that "Peaches" from The Super Mario Bros. Movie was not shortlisted for this category, I feel as if we were going to get at least two songs from Barbie. And the Billie Eilish song is going to win, whether you like it or not. She already won the Golden Globe and the Critics' Choice for it, so you know it is as inevitable as Thanos.


Best Sound

  • The Creator - Ian Voigt, Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van Der Ryn, Tom Ozanich, and Dean Zupancic

  • Maestro - Richard King, Steve Morrow, Tom Ozanich, Jason Ruder, and Dean Zupancic

  • Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Chris Munro, James H. Mather, Chris Burdon, and Mark Taylor

  • Oppenheimer - Willie Burton, Richard King, Kevin O'Connell, and Gary A. Rizzo

  • The Zone of Interest - Johnnie Burn and Tarn Willers

This is a category I called all the way back in July. I knew out of all the nominations Oppenheimer was going to get, this would be one of them. Not only that, but the film would take the cake her. In July, I did say in my review of the film to mail whoever gets named in this category their Oscars, so get to packing Academy. Fuck everyone else in this category. That was a joke. No it wasn't. Maybe it was. Who knows?


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

Unfortunately I have not seen four of the five films in this category, but they are all on my radar. With that being said, obviously I have bias here for Oppenheimer. So I believe with this initial reaction and prediction that it will win in this category.


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

Fuck, I thought this award was Göransson's to lose. Why did you have to nominate John Williams? Don't get me wrong, I fucking love John Williams to death here, but now you have me conflicted on who I want to win this award. If you know me, I have told you since July that Oppenheimer defiantly had the best score of the year, but I am sticking with my gut and predicting Göransson to win his second Academy Award.


Best Original Screenplay

  • Anatomy of a Fall - Justine Triet and Arthur Harari

  • The Holdovers - David Hemingson

  • Maestro - Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer

  • May December - Screenplay by Samy Burch, Story by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik

  • Past Lives - Celine Song

I have seen none of these films, but I do want to make a prediction. Everybody loves The Holdovers, but everybody also loves Past Lives. I think Maestro has no shot, and I can say the same for May December. What I am about to say may be considered a hot take, and you may not like it. But I do predict that Anatomy of a Fall will win the award. It did win the Golden Globe and it is nominated for a BAFTA, so do not be surprised if the dark horse wins the race.


Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Fiction - Cord Jefferson; based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett

  • Barbie - Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach; based on characters created by Ruth Handler

  • Oppenheimer - Christopher Nolan; based on the biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

  • Poor Things - Tony McNamara; based on the novel by Alisdair Gray

  • The Zone of Interest - Jonathan Glazer; based on the novel by Martin Amis

You know where I'm going with this. I have not seen American Fiction, Poor Things, or The Zone of Interest, but Barbenheimer is competing yet again. Although I can see both sides of the argument of whether Barbie should be considered Original or Adapted Screenplay, it simply does not matter because Oppenheimer should win this category unanimously. Please shut out Barbie!


Best Supporting Actor

  • Sterling K. Brown - American Fiction

  • Robert De Niro - Killers of the Flower Moon

  • Robert Downey Jr. - Oppenheimer

  • Ryan Gosling - Barbie

  • Mark Ruffalo - Poor Things

In July, I did tell you guys that while I was somewhat disappointed with Barbie, but Ryan Gosling should get an Oscar nomination for his performance. I also said that Robert Downey Jr. was not only going to be nominated, but win the award. My stance has not changed one bit, and I fully expect for the former Iron Man actor to take home his first Academy Award. These other guys are just sacrificial lambs in this scenario.


Best Supporting Actress

  • Emily Blunt - Oppenheimer

  • Danielle Brooks - The Color Purple

  • America Ferrera - Barbie

  • Jodie Foster - Nyad

  • Da'Vine Joy Randolph - The Holdovers

This is a category that I think I know the outcome of, although you know where my heart lies. Let's get the idea of America Ferrera or Jodie Foster winning because I think they are placeholders. Danielle Brooks has an outside percentage of winning, but it is miniscule. Emily Blunt was fantastic in Oppenheimer and has the second largest odds to win, but the favorite as of the writing of this post is Da'Vine Joy Randolph, who has already won the Golden Globe and the Critics' Choice awards. She is also my pick to win it.


Best Actress

  • Annette Bening - Nyad

  • Lily Gladstone - Killers of the Flower Moon

  • Sandra Hüller - Anatomy of a Fall

  • Carey Mulligan - Maestro

  • Emma Stone - Poor Things

This category has emerged as a two-horse race in my opinion. Annette Bening and Carey Mulligan have no chance at this award. Sandra Hüller has the next best odds at the trophy. But the two Golden Globe winners, Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone, are going to fight all the way until March 10. Although Gladstone was not nominated at the BAFTAs, this race will be a lot closer than anyone thinks. However, I do predict that Emma Stone will win the award.


Best Actor

  • Bradley Cooper - Maestro

  • Colman Domingo - Rustin

  • Paul Giamatti - The Holdovers

  • Cillian Murphy - Oppenheimer

  • Jeffrey Wright - American Fiction

Another two-horse race. Although I will put my money where my mouth is on this one. Let's get the obvious out of the way: Bradley Cooper, Colman Domingo, and Jeffrey Wright have absolutely no shot at winning this award. The two horses are definitely Paul Giamatti and Cillian Murphy. Murphy's performance in Oppenheimer is utterly brilliant and one that should really not be overlooked. Although Giamatti is being acclaimed for his role in The Holdovers, and he won a Golden Globe and the Critics' Choice, I still believe Murphy wins the award.


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

Let's be honest with ourselves for a minute with this penultimate category, shall we? This category is a gimme. Only the second one of the few I chose to talk about. Everyone else here is just here for the Christopher Nolan experience. I hope they are all sobbing in tears when Nolan walks up to that podium to accept his award, and his pompous nature completely unravels everyone and everything. Sorry for the tangent, Christopher Nolan wins his first Oscar.


Best Picture

  • American Fiction - Ben LeClair, Nikos Karamigios, Cord Jefferson, and Jermaine Johnson, producers

  • Anatomy of a Fall - Marie-Ange Luciani and David Thion, producers

  • Barbie - David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, and Robbie Brenner, producers

  • The Holdovers - Mark Johnson, producer

  • Killers of the Flower Moon - Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Martin Scorsese, and Daniel Lupi, producers

  • Maestro - Bradley Cooper, Steven Spielberg, Fred Berner, Amy Durning, and Kristie Macosko Krieger, producers

  • Oppenheimer - Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, and Christopher Nolan, producers

  • Past Lives - David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon, and Pamela Koffler, producers

  • Poor Things - Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Emma Stone, producers

  • The Zone of Interest - James Wilson, producer

I want to do our final category a bit different. I want to rank the films in the order of how likely they are to win the award. Barbie has absolutely no chance at this award, even though it was the box office champion of 2023. Past Lives, whole probably good, may not get a whole lot of votes. American Fiction may get a few votes in all honesty. The Zone of Interest and Anatomy of a Fall suffer from international-films-just-being-there syndrome, Maestro is doomed from the start in my opinion. Killers of the Flower Moon only has a chance because it's Scorsese. Poor Things will get Emma Stone a second Oscar and it is universally loved. The Holdovers is the only real competition in this award, which leaves us with one. My favorite film of 2023, one of the best films I have ever seen, Chris Nolan's masterpiece and magnum opus. Oppenheimer is my defiant pick to win the award.


To conclude this post, I want to talk about the tallies. Oppenheimer led the way with 13 nominations (which I greedily want to win them all), followed by Poor Things with 11 nominations and Killers of the Flower Moon with 10. Barbie is fourth with 8 and Maestro ended up in fifth with 7. Despite that, this ceremony should be a very interesting an entertaining one. You know I will be reacting to the winners with bated breath, so I will see you for that post in March. Until then, thank you all for reading this and I will see you for the next post.

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