Based on the Oscar nominations for the 2024 Academy Awards, here’s who we believe should win the industry’s highest honor
The nominees for the 96th Academy Awards was just recently unveiled. As we await this year’s Oscars, taking place on March 10, 2024, here’s who we believe should win the industry’s highest honor.
Best picture – “Oppenheimer”
Christopher Nolan’s three-hour box-office hit should undoubtedly be the undisputed best picture winner. Its lengthy runtime may be pushing it for some, but from the cast’s stellar performances and the film’s gripping narrative, to its soundtrack and technical achievements, “Oppenheimer” stands as 2023’s premier title.
Best actor – Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”
Cillian Murphy delivered a performance of a lifetime as J. Robert Oppenheimer—showcasing a subtle yet massively expressive portrayal of a man burdened with harrowing guilt for what he had unleashed upon the world.
In our article on “Oppenheimer,” we stated, “Murphy shines even brighter as he ceases to talk—the dialogue around mutes out as if they were speaking from a distance, and him leaving us with a blank stare that tells us more than what any other script can; from an excitement that he can barely keep at bay to the harrowing guilt and fear creeping up on him. In a film so focused on dialogue and exposition, he is at his best when it is at its most quiet.”
Best actress – Emma Stone, “Poor Things”
Emma Stone took the spotlight as Bella Baxter—doning the persona of child trapped in a woman’s body, as she embarks on a journey to discover the world through innocent eyes. She plays the part to perfection, navigating an unfamiliar world with childlike wonder, with a performance that throws caution to the wind.
“She gives a performance that is so remarkably unhinged and off-the-wall that I’ve never seen anything like it from another actress and certainly not from her,” says director and film buff Chris Stuckmann.
Best supporting actor – Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”
Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, barring Murphy’s astounding performance, was another bright spot in Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” A recent Golden Globes winner, Downey Jr. was the perfect unlikely villain—wooing everyone with his Tony Stark-esque charisma, until he is later unraveled as an egotistical and your run-off-the-mill shrewd politician.
Best supporting actress – America Ferrera, “Barbie”
It’s a surprise that an ordinary mother in a film full of actual Barbie characters would steal the show and deliver the film’s best performance (alongside Gosling of course). But Ferrera’s monologue, which undoubtedly landed her the Oscar nod, could possibly push her over the edge for her first Academy Award win.
“When America was giving her beautiful speech, I was just sobbing, and then I looked around, and I realized everybody’s crying on the set. The men are crying too, because they have their own speech they feel they can’t ever give, you know? And they have their twin tightrope, which is also painful,” shared Greta Gerwig.
Animated feature film – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
When a sequel both matches and builds upon its predecessor, and that first film was widely regarded as an industry game-changer and one of the best animated films of all time—you’re getting an Oscar.
Original score – “Oppenheimer”
Ludwig Göransson’s score for “Oppenheimer” was truly remarkable. It was not only the perfect accompaniment to Nolan’s 2023 masterpiece but in many instances, drove the scene and told its own story beyond what was laid out on-screen—from capturing boundless curiosity with “Can You Hear The Music” to evoking gut-wrenching anxiety and dread with “Trinity.”
Original song – “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie”
Unfortunately, it’s quite possible that fellow original song “I’m Just Ken” could take the win. However, while Gosling’s performance was entertaining and very memorable, it might just win based solely on hype. When in fact, Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” was not only a much more well-rounded track but one that truly captured “Barbie.”
Costume design – “Barbie”
Bringing Barbie to life in a manner that isn’t cringey or off-putting is no easy feat and Greta Gerwig and her team of costume designers managed to do so.
Sound – “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”
Scale and spectacle are two words that would describe “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.” To capture Tom Cruise’s latest exploits on film is one thing but to match the visual marvel and do it justice in sound, is a note-worthy achievement that deserves praise.