Comfortable and Furious

Oscarheimer 2024

Time once again for my extremely reliable, one hundred percent accurate Oscar predictions! If you want the short version, scroll right down to the end, where I recap all my predictions in a tidy column. If you want to read about the whys and wherefores and let me hedge my bets a bit, as well as vote for my personal favorites, read on. I am abstaining from writing about or voting in the categories in which I have not seen a majority of the nominees (which is just the three short film categories), but I will still bet on them. 

BEST PICTURE: When I first discovered Yorgos Lanthimos in early 2011, it was because his breakthrough masterpiece Dogtooth was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film (as the category was known at the time), and after watching it I was certain it was too weird and wonderful to actually win. I was correct in that case, but it’s been great to see Lanthimos garner so much international and mainstream attention over the years, to the point where his latest, Poor Things, is actually the most likely to upset the unstoppable awards juggernaut that is Oppenheimer.

After last year’s huge victory for the wonderfully weird Everything Everywhere All At Once, though, I think we’ll be back to a more traditional victor in the top spot, and Oppenheimer is certainly the more traditional Oscar movie, as well as an excellent film that deserves its acclaim. If I actually had a vote, I might use it to help Poor Things, which I do prefer, but since I don’t, I will “throw my vote away” on the third-party candidate I actually love the most. 

BET: Oppenheimer 

VOTE: The Zone of Interest 

BEST DIRECTOR: My friends and family know I cannot say enough to praise the work Jonathan Glazer did on The Zone of Interest, which is a towering masterpiece and one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen. Everyone in this category did amazing work (for Martin Scorsese, of course, not making an absolute masterpiece is the exception to the rule, and Killers of the Flower Moon is no exception), and Oppenheimer is undoubtedly Christopher Nolan’s greatest and most ambitious movie yet, but I’m not sure a more brilliant directorial vision has ever been achieved than The Zone of Interest

BET: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer 

VOTE: Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest 

BEST ACTOR: If only it had been in another year, Paul Giamatti’s warm, hilariously cranky performance in The Holdovers could have taken home the big prize the excellent character actor has richly deserved for so long. Alas, Cillian Murphy has also had a bit of a good year, as you might have heard, being the head of the aforementioned unstoppable awards juggernaut. It’s also usually a safe bet the Academy will go for a portrayal of a real historical figure, especially in the leading role. Much as I love Giamatti’s Paul Hunham and would rather have a drink with him than old J. Robert, you gotta hand it to the kid (who is, of course, pushing 50 and a very accomplished character actor in his own right). 

BET: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer 

VOTE: Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers 

BEST ACTRESS: This one is close, for sure, between Emma Stone’s instantly iconic Bella Baxter in Poor Things and Lily Gladstone’s heartbreaking turn in Killers of the Flower Moon. Odds are almost even, but the fact that Stone has won before is likely to factor into many voters’ decisions and, as a Native American actor, every previous Gladstone win as well as her nomination for the Oscar is a historic first, and it seems likely her momentum will continue to the top here. 

BET: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon 

VOTE: Emma Stone, Poor Things 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: After a brief pause in its unstoppability (because there are no lead actress roles in Oppenheimer, after all), the juggernaut continues. Everyone in this category is so fucking good, with Ryan Gosling, Mark Ruffalo, and Sterling K. Brown delivering three of the funniest performances of the year, and Robert De Niro in a haunting villainous role that ranks among his legendary best.

Robert Downey Jr. is nearly as important to Oppenheimer as the bomb or the man himself, though, and it is highly unlikely even Gosling could be Kenough to take this one away from him. I mean to take nothing away from him, either, when I go third party with my hypothetical vote on this one. 

BET: Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer 

VOTE: Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Not a chance anyone takes this away from Da’Vine. 

BET: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers 

VOTE: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: With Anatomy of a Fall not submitted for the International Feature category, this is its most likely spot to shine. Its top competition is most likely The Holdovers, one of the funniest and most quotable movies of the year. 

BET: Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, Anatomy of a Fall 

VOTE: David Hemingson, The Holdovers 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: In keeping with Oscar tradition of honoring movies that will otherwise end up mostly empty-handed in the Screenplay categories, the very funny and insightful American Fiction is likely to rise above Oppenheimer, Barbie, and Poor Things for this one. Not having read any of the original source material (including the official Mattel guidebook, or whatever Barbie is based on; sometimes this category is weird), I can only cast one more vote for the greatest movie of the year. 

BET: Cord Jefferson, American Fiction 

VOTE: Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Speaking of which, here is its time to shine. As of this writing, I have only seen three of the nominees in this category, and while The Teacher’s Lounge and Society of the Snow are both very good, well… if you’ve read this far, you already know. 

BET: The Zone of Interest 

VOTE: The Zone of Interest 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Always full of emotionally devastating movies and usually one uplifting music-related one, the Academy historically votes for the latter. This year the closest to an uplifting music doc is Bobi Wine: The People’s President, and it’s pretty damn heavy too. Of these nominees I’ve only seen three, but after those I’m not sure I can even handle the one about Alzheimer’s or the father who seeks revenge for his daughter’s gang-rape. The most likely pick is possibly the toughest watch of all, Mstyslav Chernov’s gutting, you-are-there chronicle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Steer clear if you’d rather not see any dead babies. 

BET: 20 Days in Mariupol 

VOTE: 20 Days in Mariupol 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: This is a close one, and in a way it feels like it comes down to the old Academy versus the new. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is certainly the most animated feature, with a frenetic, throw-everything-at-the-screen style that geezers like myself might find a bit exhausting. The Boy and the Heron is possibly Hayao Miyazaki’s final film (again) and has a more traditional style that I’m predicting the Academy will give the top honor, especially since they’ll almost certainly have the opportunity to show Spidey some love when the third one comes out.

For the record, my personal favorite of the four nominees I’ve seen (because Robot Dreams looks delightful, but who the hell has had a chance to see it yet?) is Nimona, but just to keep things interesting, I’m going to use the one write-in vote I’ve decided to allow myself in order to address one of the most egregious snubs of the year. 

BET: The Boy and the Heron 

VOTE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (write-in) 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: This category has probably the biggest surprise of the year with the nomination for El Conde, a wonderfully weird and gorgeously shot movie I didn’t think anyone but me had seen. It won’t win, of course, but it’s nice to see it on the list. This one comes down to the top two contenders again, and they both look fantastic in different ways.

Oppenheimer is incredibly crisp and tactile, working with the editing and sound to put the viewer right at the center of everything, while the cinematography of Poor Things combines with the incredible production and costume design to create a surreal, mad dreamworld that bears only a passing, fantastical resemblance to our own. Both are towering achievements and I can only vote for my personal favorite of the two. 

BET: Hoyte van Hoytema, Oppenheimer 

VOTE: Robbie Ryan, Poor Things 

BEST EDITING: There is a near-zero percent chance Oppenheimer doesn’t win this one on the atomic bomb test sequence alone, but it also deserves it for the masterful work it does in tying together different timelines throughout its epic runtime. 

BET: Jennifer Lame, Oppenheimer 

VOTE: Jennifer Lame, Oppenheimer 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: This and the following category are either going to Barbie or Poor Things, and probably both to the same movie. It’s almost too close to call, but I think Poor Things is likely to take home some consolation awards in these technical categories after it loses to Oppenheimer in all the rest. That’s just my bet, and as great and important to the impact of the movie as Barbie’s production design is, the fantasmagorical steampunk world of Poor Things is the one I want to live in even more. 

BET: James Price, Shona Heath, and Zsuzsa Mihalek, Poor Things 

VOTE: James Price, Shona Heath, and Zsuzsa Mihalek, Poor Things 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: If there’s a chance the vote is split between Barbie and Poor Things, I predict Barbie is more likely to win Production Design than this one, but I’m betting on Poor Things for both. 

BET: Holly Waddington, Poor Things 

VOTE: Holly Waddington, Poor Things 

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: As amazing as Willem Dafoe’s face is in Poor Things, historically the Academy loves makeup that looks like famous people from history almost as much as actors portraying famous people from history, and this one feels like a good bet as a consolation prize for Maestro

BET: Kazu Hiro, Kay Georgiou and Lori McCoy-Bell, Maestro 

VOTE: Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston, Poor Things 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: The top contenders in this category are the ones that made the most of the lowest budgets, and that’s how it should be. At an estimated $80 million, The Creator came in at roughly a third the cost of the three big Hollywood productions, and Godzilla Minus One cost roughly an eighth of that! The Creator certainly looks great and achieves a convincingly immersive world, but G Minus One is the best Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen, and a staggering visual achievement made for basically the catering budget of Guardians of the Galaxy

BET: Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima, Godzilla Minus One 

VOTE: Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima, Godzilla Minus One 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: The biggest snub here is Mica Levi’s haunting, nerve-wracking masterpiece work on The Zone of Interest, and Robbie Robertson’s final collaboration with Marty on Killers of the Flower Moon is probably the second most likely choice, but this is undoubtedly going to Ludwig Goransson for his tense, propulsive score on the awards juggernaut of the year. 

BET: Ludwig Goransson, Oppenheimer 

VOTE: Ludwig Goransson, Oppenheimer 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Am I a bad feminist if I admit Ken is my favorite thing about Barbie? Probably. Ok, maybe my second favorite, after Weird Barbie, the role Kate McKinnon was born to play. Anyway, this is obviously going to be one of the Barbie songs, and it certainly won’t be the one I (slightly) prefer, especially not after the backlash over Ken getting the acting nomination Babs didn’t. 

BET: “What Was I Made For?” Barbie 

VOTE: “I’m Just Ken” Barbie 

BEST SOUND: Jonathan Glazer has said of his masterpiece, The Zone of Interest: “There are, in effect, two films: the one you see, and the one you hear, and the second is just as important as the first, arguably more so.” I cannot think of a movie in which sound is more important, as Glazer and his team of two (half the number of technicians who worked on any other nominee, for what it’s worth) create a nightmare vision of the Holocaust in which what we see is distressingly normal; the horror is almost entirely auditory.

Oppenheimer is almost certain to win for the atomic bomb test sequence alone, but it achieves another miracle in sound: a Christopher Nolan film in which all the dialogue can be understood! If you’re using this as an actual betting guide (and you should not), go for Oppenheimer, but I can’t bear to bet against my favorite movie of the year in the one other category it could actually win. 

BET: Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn, The Zone of Interest 

VOTE: Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn, The Zone of Interest 


BEST PICTURE: Oppenheimer 

BEST DIRECTOR: Oppenheimer 

BEST ACTOR: Oppenheimer 

BEST ACTRESS: Killers of the Flower Moon 







BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: The Boy and the Heron 


BEST EDITING: Oppenheimer 




BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Godzilla Minus One 


BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “What Was I Made For?” Barbie 

BEST SOUND: The Zone of Interest 

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar 








5 responses to “Oscarheimer 2024”

  1. Goat Avatar

    Great work, Ezra.

  2. John Welsh Avatar
    John Welsh

    Ezra, thanks for sitting through all those movies so the rest of us don’t have to. I doubt my opinion will be reflected on Sunday. I suffered through Killers of the Flower Moon for only a half hour. First, Marty moved Spindletop way north and decades in time. Oil seeping up on the ground does not blow-out like in Giant (you member? James Dean as Jet Rink with his fountain of black gold at his Little Reata ranch). Thirty minutes of enduing the same examples of backstory over and over. Notice Leonardo was decades too old to play the character he was assigned at $30,000,000. I know you just tagged it for the actress, but just sayin’.

    Editing: Oppenheimer will win I guess, although moving the narrative around in time and space is direct from the screenplay and an excellent choice. The best aspect was playing the atomic detonation MOS for the first few seconds, more powerful than any effect the sound designers could dream-up. The scene at the Q clearance hearing was the best example of the editing.
    Director: Greta Gerwig by a country mile. Nolan offered nothing new, but Gerwing has an eye for some outstanding visuals, cinema far surpassing Oppenheimer. Naturally the Academy Old Boy network would not allow the men to be showed-up by a girl. I am sure Nolan was ordained even before the start of production. Nolan made Interstellar for which there’s no forgiveness.
    Camera? My eye is not that sophisticated, but anyone with a light meter and an American Cinematographer’s manual can make pretty pictures. Eastman Kodak is very is a big help.
    Is Napoleon nominated for anything? Maybe worse biopic of a major historical figure? I leaned two things from it: Napoleon puts his fingers in his ears when the canon fired (he was an artillery officer after all) and he fucked Josephine doggie style. Three things, Scott saw Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky and borrowed the battle on the ice sequence.
    Scott should retire.
    I have a feeling your selections will prove to be right-on the money.

    One final item. How fucked-up are the writers in the Academy? The well crafted screenplay for Cast Away was not nominated, yet the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Screenplay was nominated for the same year. Blind, stupid or just didn’t give a shit?

    1. Goat Avatar

      Poor Things! A masterpiece that deserves every single Oscar it can muster. If Emma Stone does not get Best Actress, I’m bringing out the torches and pitchforks.

  3. Goat Avatar

    Great job, Ezra! 87% correct picks. Here is the tally


    BEST PICTURE: Oppenheimer ☑

    BEST DIRECTOR: Oppenheimer ☑

    BEST ACTOR: Oppenheimer ☑ Cillian Murphy

    BEST ACTRESS: Killers of the Flower Moon ☒ Poor Things-Emma Stone

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Oppenheimer☑ Robert Downy Jr.


    BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Anatomy of a Fall ☑

    BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: American Fiction ☑


    BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: 20 Days in Mariupol ☑

    BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: The Boy and the Heron ☑

    BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Oppenheimer ☑

    BEST EDITING: Oppenheimer ☑


    BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Poor Things ☑

    BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Maestro ☒ Winner- Poor Things

    BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Godzilla Minus One☑

    BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Oppenheimer ☑

    BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “What Was I Made For?” Barbie ☑

    BEST SOUND: The Zone of Interest ☑

    BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar ☑

    BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: The Last Repair Shop ☑

    BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Letter to a Pig ☒ Winner-War is Over

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