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My 2024 Oscar Scorecard

So how did I do? I had a perfect six-for-six on this year’s predicted winners (and was happy with the results in each case). Here are the details:

Best Picture

The Field: “American Fiction,”Anatomy of a Fall” (“Anatomie d’une chute”), “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” “The Zone of Interest”

Projected Winner:  “Oppenheimer”

Actual Winner:  “Oppenheimer”

Result:  Correct call

“Oppenheimer” was handily the best film of 2023, and it won virtually everything in the competitions in the run-up to the Oscars. Consequently, its victory on awards night came as no surprise – a deserving win for a deserving film whose juggernaut momentum simply could not be stopped. In all, the picture took home seven statues – best picture, actor (see below), supporting actor (see below), director (see below), cinematography, film editing and original score – on 13 total nominations, the most of any film in the running this year. The other nine nominees didn’t stand much of a chance.

Best Actor

The Field:  Bradley Cooper, “Maestro”; Colman Domingo, “Rustin”; Paul Giamatti, “The Holdovers”; Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”; Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction”

Projected Winner:  Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”

Actual Winner:  Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”

Result:  Correct call

Journeyman actor Cillian Murphy truly did his best work in this role, showing audiences that he possesses acting chops many didn’t believe he had. In this break-out role, he has established himself as one of the industry’s truly gifted new leading men. With only a few exceptions, Murphy won virtually everything in the contests leading up to the Oscars, so there was no reason to believe that trend would not hold up on awards night. This was a case of the right actor winning for the right film, an award he won going away.

Best Actress

The Field:   Annette Bening, “Nyad”; Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon”; Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall” (“Anatomie d’une chute”); Carey Mulligan, “Maestro”; Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Projected Winner:  Toss-up between Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Preferred Winner:  Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Actual Winner:  Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Result:  Correct call

Of the six major categories, this was the most difficult to call, as both Emma Stone and Lily Gladstone stood strong chances of winning – so much so that I called the race a virtual dead heat heading into Oscar night. In light of that, I was unable to call a definitive winner and had to make my selection based on my preference to receive the award. And, thankfully, Academy voters made the correct choice in Emma Stone. As much as I admired Lily Gladstone’s portrayal, it simply wasn’t on par with the victor. Stone had the more demanding role, and she made the most of it in her outstanding performance. Her 2016 victory for her performance in “La La Land” – as impressive as it was – didn’t do her justice in the same way as this win does. It’s always gratifying to see a deserving winner take home the top prize, as was very much the case here. Well done!

Best Supporting Actor

The Field:  Sterling K. Brown, “American Fiction”; Robert De Niro, “Killers of the Flower Moon”; Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”; Ryan Gosling, “Barbie”; Mark Ruffalo, “Poor Things”

Projected Winner:  Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

Actual Winner:  Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

Result:  Correct call

As with the other major awards “Oppenheimer” claimed on Oscar night, the accolades accorded Robert Downey Jr. were not a surprise. Having won virtually every honor leading up to the Oscars, Downey’s win was yet another victory foreseen far in advance. It truly would have been a shock if any other name had been called. This was another case of the right performer winning for the right performance.

Best Supporting Actress

The Field:  Emily Blunt, “Oppenheimer”; Danielle Brooks, “The Color Purple”; America Ferrera, “Barbie”; Jodie Foster, “Nyad”; Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

Projected Winner:  Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

Actual Winner:  Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

Result:  Correct call

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s win was an inevitability. Having captured every prize leading up to the Oscars, there was no surprise here when her name was very deservingly called, despite some strong competition. This was yet another easy-to-see and well-earned victory.

Best Director

The Field:  Justine Triet, “Anatomy of a Fall” (“Anatomie d’une chute”); Martin Scorsese, “Killers of the Flower Moon”; Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”; Yorgos Lanthimos, “Poor Things”; Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”

Projected Winner:  Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”

Actual Winner:  Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”

Result:  Correct call

Christopher Nolan’s win for best director was a long time coming, but, thankfully, it was saved for his best work. And, again, this was a win that was locked in early in awards season, with the filmmaker capturing every major prize in the run-up to the Oscars – a well-earned victory.

For more on how I arrived at my predictions for the winners, please see my previous blog, “Who Will Win the 2024 Oscars?”

(Oscar® and Academy Award® are registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.)

Copyright © 2024, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.

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