Oscar Nominations 2024 Announced – Not Without Surprises

January 24th, 2024 Jump to Comment Section
Oscar Nominations 2024 Announced – Not Without Surprises

It’s that time of year again! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the Oscar nominations for 2024. By and large, the list looks as expected, but also – not without surprises. For example, for the first time in history, three Best Picture nominees have female directors. Among them is “Barbie”, which received a good bit of disappointing news as well. Who is ahead in the race, and who was left out – find out in our short summary.

After the combined writers and actors strike, which marked almost half of the past year, the film industry seems to be returning to normal. Although some big premiers had to be postponed, 2023 brought to the screen enough brilliant work to make the award season exciting. Thus, choosing nominees for the 96th Academy Awards was surely not an easy decision, and of course, it couldn’t make everybody happy.

Oppenheimer leading the Oscar race

At the lucky forefront is Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer”, leading the race with a total of 13 nominations. No surprises here, as the epic biopic about the “father of the atomic bomb” recently premiered last summer has further solidified the renowned director’s status with critical acclaim. The film will compete in major categories such as Best Film, Best Director, Best Male Lead Actor for Cillian Murphy, and Best Adapted Screenplay, to name a few.

A film still from “Oppenheimer” by Christopher Nolan, 2023

“Oppenheimer” did well at the Golden Globes Awards earlier this month, winning both Best Director and Best Drama, amongst other categories. So, it’s quite possible that the film could earn Christopher Nolan his first Oscar. Remarkably, despite being one of the leading filmmakers of our century, he has yet to receive an Academy Award.

Cillian Murphy, who portrayed J. Robert Oppenheimer, is joined in his category by Bradley Cooper (for his role in “Maestro”), “The Holdovers” star Paul Giamatti, Colman Domingo (“Rustin”), and Jeffrey Wright (“American Fiction”). Though Martin Scorsese’s crime drama “Killers of the Flower Moon” received 10 nominations, Leonardo DiCaprio failed to secure a spot among the top five best actors for his starring performance.

And 11 Oscar nominations go to

Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Poor Things” snapped the second shining spot in this year’s Oscar race with 11 nominations, including Best Film, Adapted Screenplay, and Leading Actress. This fascinating and bizarre story is difficult to put into a single genre (Golden Globes regarded it as “Best Comedy”, which it is, yet not only), but the attention is well-deserved. Emma Stone’s mesmerizing performance alone can leave you speechless, not to mention the masterful storytelling of Lanthimos and all the weird twists and turns.

However, Emma Stone is not the only strong candidate for Best Actress in a Leading Role. This category is particularly competitive in 2024 with amazing first-time nominee Lily Gladstone (for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon”), impressive German actress Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”), and past Oscar-nominees Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”), and Annette Bening (“Nyad”). Surprisingly, neither Natalie Portman nor Julianne Moore received a nod for “May December”. Even more unexpected was that Margot Robbie didn’t make the cut for her leading role in “Barbie.”

The biggest disappointments for Barbie

Although the so-called “Barbenheimer” was the loudest cinema phenomenon of last year (and possibly the year before that), the pink-colored fantasy comedy is clearly not among the favorites this award season. “Barbie” became the highest-grossing film of 2023, earning $1.44 billion worldwide, and it is also the first motion picture directed by a woman to have this kind of box office success. Yet, Greta Gerwig didn’t receive the Oscar nomination for Best Director, nor did Margot Robbie for her stunning performance as the famous plastic doll.

A film still from “Barbie” by Greta Gerwig, 2023

Ryan Gosling, who joined the competition for Best Supporting Actor as Ken, has spoken out about his disappointment and questioned Academy voters in a statement provided to CBS News.

I am extremely honored to be nominated by my colleagues alongside such remarkable artists in a year of so many great films. And I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m also incredibly honored and proud that it’s for portraying a plastic doll named Ken. But there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film.

Ryan Gosling, a quote to CBS News

Generally, “Barbie” scored only eight Oscar nominations, two of which are in the same category “Best Song.” This news initiated a huge wave of snubs and negative reactions from fans, who also questioned the Academy’s decision.

Image source: Instagram

Best Director category snubs and surprises

Apart from Greta Gerwig, Celine Song of “Past Lives” also missed out on a directing nomination, which was a snub for a lot of critics all over the world, as the romantic drama (and Song’s feature debut) received very positive reviews. However, compared to last year, this category is not all-male, as it at least includes Justine Triet (“Anatomy of the Fall”).

A pleasant surprise was to see among the renowned names first-timer Jonathan Glazer, who got the nomination for “The Zone of Interest”, an uncomfortable but hugely important historical piece about Nazis living obliviously next to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Oscar nominations 2024 for Best Cinematography

The nominations for Best Cinematography this year mostly include the expected prominent titles: Hoyte van Hoytema with the spectacular large format “Oppenheimer”, Robbie Ryan with fantastic wide-lensed “Poor Things”, and Rodrigo Prieto with a custom-created anamorphic look for “Killers of the Flower Moon”. Interestingly enough, most of the nominated films (the biopic “Maestro”, and the vampire film “El Conde” included) also partially used black-and-white cinematography.

Other nominees this year

You can read the full list of nominees here.

The Academy Award ceremony will take place on the 10th of March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

How did you react to the 2024 Oscar nominations? Which films did it miss? What are your personal favorites, snubs, and surprises? Who should get the awards? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature image source: a collage from the film stills from “Oppenheimer” by Christopher Nolan, “Barbie” by Greta Gerwig, and “Poor Things” by Yorgos Lanthimos.

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