CULTURE: Early Predictions for the 2024 Academy Awards Part 2

“Oppenheimer,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “Poor Things” lead my predicted nominations with more than 10 for each film.

Courtesy of ABC
Courtesy of ABC

This coming Oscar season looks like it will be another monumental time at the Academy Awards. With films by Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Greta Gerwig and David Fincher being released, I thought it would be fun to look at what has the potential to be nominated for the 23 awards in the academy’s catalog. Here are my personal predictions for what will be nominated for the 2024 Academy Awards. 

Best Documentary Feature  

  1. “Beyond Utopia” - Madeleine Gavin
  2. “The Eternal Memory” - Maite Alberdi
  3. “The Deepest Breath” - Laura McGann
  4. “Four Daughters” - Kaouther Ben Hania
  5. “20 Days in Mariupol” - Mstyslav Chernov

The award for Best Documentary often goes to the film that is most relevant to our times, and “Beyond Utopia” fits this description easily. As tensions rise in the world’s relationship with North Korea, this film openly discusses what people in the country are dealing with and why a select group of families have left. With extremely high ratings by critics, this is perceived as the “early frontrunner.”

Best Cinematography 

  1. “Oppenheimer” - Hoyte Van Hoytema
  2. “Killers of the Flower Moon” - Rodrigo Prieto
  3. "Poor Things” - Robbie Ryan
  4. “Maestro” - Matthew Libatique
  5. “The Color Purple” - Dan Laustsen

“Oppenheimer’s” technical achievement in filmmaking is bound to be rewarded by numerous Oscars from the academy. There may be films with more color than “Oppenheimer,” but the camera work is one of many ways that it succeeds in telling a biopic. The close-ups and wide shots add a layer of horror and drama that have never been seen before. 


Best Editing 

  1. “Oppenheimer” - Jennifer Lame
  2. “Killers of the Flower Moon” - Thelma Schoonmaker
  3. “Poor Things” - Yorgos Mavropsaridis
  4. “The Holdovers” - Kevin Tent
  5. “Barbie” - Nick Houy

Even more than cinematography, “Oppenheimer” is an achievement in editing due to the fast paced, concisely-timed cuts within the conversations. Editor Jennifer Lame has been doing great work for years, and winning an award for “Oppenheimer” would be the best way to acknowledge her work in the industry. 


Best Production Design 

  1. “Barbie” - Sarah Greenwood
  2. “Poor Things” - Shona Heath and James Price
  3. “Killers of the Flower Moon” - Jack Fisk
  4. “The Color Purple” - Paul D. Austerberry
  5. “Oppenheimer” - Ruth De Jong

“Barbie'' may have gotten great blueprints in creating Barbieland from the toy sets, but I could not imagine the sets looking any better than they did in the movie. Out of all the films made so far this year, I can’t see any of the other film being turned into toy sets like “Barbie,” which makes me feel confident about putting it in the top spot on this list.


Best Costume Design 

  1. “Barbie” - Jacqueline Durran
  2. “Poor Things” - Holly Waddington
  3. “Killers of the Flower Moon” - Jacqueline West
  4. “The Color Purple” - Francine Jamison-Tanchuck
  5. “Napoleon” - David Crossman and Janty Yates

Like the production design, no other film is going to have their costumes turned into toys and be as successful as “Barbie.” “Poor Things” appears to have lots of lavish dresses and suits, but I doubt any will stick out as much as the costumes in “Barbie.”


Best Makeup and Hair Styling 

  1. “Maestro” - Bradley Cooper
  2. “Poor Things” - Yorgos Lanthimos
  3. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”  - James Gunn
  4. “The Color Purple” - Blitz Bazawule
  5. “Barbie” - Greta Gerwig

This category always awards the film with the most prosthetic makeup, and, this year, it is likely going to “Maestro.” Bradley Cooper is unrecognizable as the protagonist, Leonard Bernstein, and being unrecognizable is an easy way to win this award. “The Whale” and “Vice” are great examples of films who cover the lead actor in makeup that eventually leads to the award for Best Makeup.


Best Visual Effects 

  1. “Oppenheimer” - Christopher Nolan
  2. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” - James Gunn
  3. “The Creator” - Gareth Edwards
  4. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" - Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson
  5. “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” - John Francis Daley and Johnathan Goldstein

“Oppenheimer” may appear to be a strange visual effects winner, but with who the Academy has given the award to in the past, it actually makes sense. With movies like “Ex Machina” and “1917” winning over movies like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” it shows that the academy likes giving the award to the film that uses the effects the best rather than having the most visual effects. “Oppenheimer’s” visual effect count may be small, but it had a major impact on the film. 


Best Sound 

  1. “Oppenheimer” - Christopher Nolan
  2. “Poor Things” - Yorgos Lanthimos
  3. “Killers of the Flower Moon” - Martin Scorsese
  4. “The Color Purple” - Blitz Bazawule
  5. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" - Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson

A movie about the invention of the atomic bomb is bound to win an award for best sound. Not only were the bomb scenes incredibly well mixed, but the dialogue scenes were just as engaging, which goes to show how big of an achievement “Oppenheimer” is in the sound department. 


Best Original Score 

  1. “Oppenheimer” - Ludwig Göransson
  2. “Killers of the Flower Moon” - Robbie Robertson
  3. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" - Daniel Pemberton
  4. “Poor Things” - Jerskin Fendrix
  5. “Past Lives” - Christopher Bear and Daniel Rossen

Ludwig Göransson has been on fire with his soundtrack to films like “Black Panther,” “Tenet” and even his work on “The Mandalorian.” There are barely any scenes where Göransson’s score isn’t on full blast. If your score is loud and memorable, then it will be hard for the academy to ignore it. 


Best Original Song 

  1. “I’m Just Ken” by Ryan Gosling from “Barbie” 
  2. “What Was I Made For” by Billie EIlish from “Barbie” 
  3. “More of Us” by Arianna DeBose from “Wish” 
  4. TBD by the cast of “The Color Purple” from “The Color Purple” 
  5. TBD by Diane Warren from “Untitled Diane Warren Project” 

The Best Original Song category is a “Barbie” versus “Barbie” battle. “What Was I Made For” may be the better written song, but “I’m Just Ken” is the more catchy and fun song. Last year, we saw “Naatu Naatu” beat out heavyweight songs by Rihanna and Lady Gaga, which shows that the academy likes to go with the fun, more broadly appealing songs. 

Nomination Tally

“Killers of the Flower Moon” - 12

“Poor Things” - 12

“The Color Purple” - 11

“Oppenheimer” - 11

“Barbie” - 10

“The Holdovers” - 7

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” - 6 

“Maestro” - 5

“Anatomy of a Fall” - 3

“Past Lives” - 3

“American Fiction” - 2

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” - 2

“20 Days in Mariupol” - 1

“About Dry Grasses” - 1

“Beyond Utopia” - 1

“The Boy and the Heron” - 1

“The Creator” - 1

“The Deepest Breath” - 1

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” - 1

“Elemental” - 1

“The Eternal Daughter” - 1

“Ferrari” - 1

“Four Daughters” - 1

“Napoleon” - 1

“Nimona” - 1

“Perfect Days” - 1

“The Promised Land” - 1

“Rustin” - 1

“The Taste of Things” - 1

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” - 1

“Untitled Diane Warren Project” - 1

“Wish” - 1

“The Zone of Interest” - 1

Trevor Stucker (he/him) is a sophomore majoring in Applied Film and Journalism. This is his second year writing for The Campus Citizen.

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