ASR Film. Oscars 2024: Recap and Some Predictions

By George Maguire

I have now seen every film and performance nominated for an Academy Award. I’ve let them germinate in my mind and with the SAG awards coming and the Golden Globes already history, it’s time to ruminate.

Let it first be said that even with the global success of Barbieheimer, the year was finally a testament to what can be achieved during and after the COVID pandemic.

… will win … should win … and some potential dark horses…

So, I am splitting my predictions into what I think will win, what should win, and some potential dark horses. Enjoy!

Best Picture:

  •  Oppenheimer
  •  Barbie
  •  Anatomy of a Fall
  •  American Fiction
  •  Zone of Interest
  • ` Past Lives
  •  Killers of the Flower Moon
  •  The Holdovers
  •  Poor Things
  •  Maestro
  • Will Win: Oppenheimer
  •  Should Win: American Fiction

Best Actress:

  •  Annette Benning (Nyad)
  •  Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon)
  •  Sandra Hueller (Anatomy of a Fall)
  •  Emma Stone (Poor Things)
  •  Carey Mulligan (Maestro)
  • Will Win: probably Lily Gladstone
  • Should Win: Anyone else
  • I found Lily Gladstone (who spent most of the film in bed) monochromatic. Emma Stone may pull a surprise here in a film I loathed—a rarity for me. My hope is that Annette Benning can pull an upset and finally win an Oscar.

Best Actor:

  •  Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer)
  •  Bradley Cooper (Maestro)
  •  Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction)
  •  Coleman Domingo (Rustin)
  •  Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers)
  • Will Win: Jeffrey Wright – I sincerely hope this is so. Cillian Murphy has a leg up though as Oppenheimer is a frontrunner.
  • Should Win: Jeffrey Wright
  • And bravo to local hero Colman Domingo for his beautiful work in Rustin (and in Color Purple)

Best Supporting Actress:

  •  Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer)
  •  Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Holdovers)
  •  Danielle Brooks (Color Purple)
  •  America Ferrera (Barbie)
  •  Jodie Foster (Nyad)
  • Will Win: Da’Vine
  • Should Win: Da’Vine This is assured!!!

Best Supporting Actor:

  •  Sterling Brown (American Fiction)
  •  Robert Downey Jr. (Oppenheimer)
  •  Robert DeNiro  (Killers of the Flower Moon)
  •  Mark Ruffalo (Poor Things)
  •  Ryan Gosling (Barbie)
  • Will Win: Robert Downey Jr.
  •  Should Win: Robert Downey Jr. (Oppenheimer). A side of him we have never seen before. Stunning!!!

Best Director:

  •  Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall)
  •  Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon)
  •  Jonathan Glazer (Zone of Interest)
  •  Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer)
  •  Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things)
  • Will Win: Christopher Nolan
  •  Should Win: Christopher Nolan.  No competition here!

Best Original Screenplay:

  •  Anatomy of a Fall (won the Golden Globe, will win here)
  •  The Holdovers
  •  Maestro
  •  Past Lives
  •  May/December

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  •  Zone of Interest
  •  Poor Things
  •  Oppenheimer (will win this!!)
  •  Barbie
  •  American Fiction

Best International Film:

  •  Io Capitano (Italy)
  •  Perfect Days (Japan) – a perfect film!! Should win here!
  •  The Teacher’s Lounge (Germany)
  •  The Society of the Snow (Spain)—done before as Alive.
  •  Zone of Interest (UK)

Best Animated Film:

  •  The Boy and the Heron (The absolute best!)
  •  Spiderman across the Universe (excellent, but no Heron!)
  •  Elemental
  •  Nimona
  •  Robot Dreams (No one saw this!)

So there we are my friends.

As I said I found Poor Things just awful (as did Mick LaSalle of the SF Chronicle). Half way through the film, two girls next to me stood up and stormed out. As a SAG voter, I never leave a film.

I found Zone of Interest terrific and horrid, telling the story of the family who lived next to Auschwitz, without getting into “documentary commenting.” Either way you perceive it, it is a must see!

Oscars are March 10th at 4 p.m. Pacific with host Jimmy Kimmel.


ASR Contributing Writer George Maguire is a San Francisco-based actor/director and Professor Emeritus of Solano College Theatre. He is a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild, and of the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. Contact: