July 22, 2024

As the 96th Academy Awards approach, cinephiles and industry insiders alike are buzzing with anticipation over the films and performances that could take home the coveted golden statuettes. The 2024 awards season is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent years, with a diverse array of films spanning various genres, styles, and themes. Here’s a look at some of the top contenders expected to dominate the nominations.

Best Picture

1. “Oppenheimer”

Christopher Nolan’s biographical epic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, has been a critical and commercial success. Featuring a powerful performance by Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer, the film delves into the complexities of scientific discovery and moral ambiguity. Nolan’s direction, coupled with stunning cinematography and a gripping narrative, makes “Oppenheimer” a strong contender for Best Picture.

2. “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Killers of the Flower Moon” explores the dark history of the Osage Nation murders in the 1920s. With an ensemble cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, the film combines historical drama with Scorsese’s trademark storytelling prowess. Its exploration of greed, betrayal, and justice is both timely and timeless.

3. “Barbie”

Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is a surprise contender in the Best Picture category. What might have seemed like a light-hearted take on a popular toy franchise turns out to be a witty, satirical exploration of identity and society. Gerwig’s unique vision and sharp script have resonated with audiences and critics alike.

4. “The Holdovers”

Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers” tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a curmudgeonly teacher and a rebellious student during a school break. Starring Paul Giamatti, the film’s blend of humor and heart has struck a chord, making it a dark horse in the Best Picture race.

Best Director

1. Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”)

Nolan’s meticulous attention to detail and ability to weave complex narratives have earned him a reputation as one of the finest directors of his generation. “Oppenheimer” showcases his skill in creating a visually and emotionally compelling story.

2. Greta Gerwig (“Barbie”)

Gerwig’s transformation of the “Barbie” concept into a clever and poignant film has solidified her status as a leading director. Her ability to balance humor with social commentary is expected to earn her a nomination.

3. Martin Scorsese (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)

A perennial favorite at the Oscars, Scorsese’s direction in “Killers of the Flower Moon” demonstrates his masterful storytelling and deep understanding of character and setting.

Best Actor

1. Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”)

Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer is intense and deeply affecting. His ability to convey the scientist’s inner turmoil and ethical struggles makes him a front-runner in the Best Actor category.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)

DiCaprio delivers a powerful performance as Ernest Burkhart, a man caught in the web of a sinister plot. His nuanced portrayal captures the character’s complexity and moral conflict.

3. Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”)

Giamatti’s role as the grumpy but ultimately kind-hearted teacher showcases his range and ability to bring depth to his characters. His performance is both endearing and compelling.

Best Actress

1. Margot Robbie (“Barbie”)

Robbie’s performance as the iconic doll is both charming and thought-provoking. She brings a surprising depth to the role, exploring themes of identity and self-worth.

2. Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)

Gladstone’s portrayal of Mollie Burkhart is both powerful and poignant. Her performance captures the strength and vulnerability of a woman facing unimaginable tragedy.

3. Emma Stone (“Poor Things”)

In Yorgos Lanthimos’ fantastical film, Stone plays a woman brought back to life by an eccentric scientist. Her performance is both whimsical and deeply emotional, showcasing her versatility as an actress.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress

Supporting Actor:

1. Robert De Niro (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)

De Niro’s role as William Hale, a manipulative and malevolent figure, is chilling and memorable. His performance adds a layer of intensity to the film.

2. Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”)

Gosling’s portrayal of Ken is both hilarious and touching. His comedic timing and chemistry with Robbie make him a standout.

Supporting Actress:

1. Florence Pugh (“Oppenheimer”)

Pugh’s performance as Jean Tatlock, Oppenheimer’s complicated love interest, is captivating. She brings depth and nuance to the role.

2. Emily Blunt (“Oppenheimer”)

Blunt’s role as Kitty Oppenheimer, the scientist’s wife, is both strong and emotionally resonant. Her performance adds to the film’s emotional core.


The 2024 Academy Awards promise to be an exciting celebration of cinema, with a diverse range of films and performances vying for top honors. From historical dramas and biographical epics to satirical comedies and heartfelt stories, this year’s contenders showcase the best of what the film industry has to offer. As the nominations are announced and the race heats up, audiences can look forward to a night of unforgettable moments and well-deserved recognition for the artists who bring these stories to life.

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