The Winners and Losers of the 2024 Oscar Nominations
January 23, 2024
Today was Christmas morning for Oscar lovers around the world. After months of anticipation, the nominees in each category were unveiled. It was an eventful morning, with plenty of surprise inclusions and omissions. Now that the dust has settled (for now), let's break down who the big winners and losers were.
Winner: Anatomy of a Fall
Justine Triet’s film continues the trend set by Parasite and Triangle of Sadness of Palme d’Or winners earning Best Picture nominations. Along with the expected nominations for Sandra Hüller’s lead performance and the script, the courtroom thriller picked up semi-surprising nominations for Best Director and Best Film Editing. France will have to rethink their strategy (again) as they chose to submit the blanked The Taste of Things for Best International Feature. And now it looks like their British rivals will walk away with that award thanks to The Zone of Interest.
Winner: American Fiction
Cord Jefferson’s satire came out of the gates hot when it won the coveted TIFF People’s Choice Award. Success has pretty much followed it everywhere since, including today when it racked up a total of five nominations. Star Jeffrey Wright and supporting player Sterling K. Brown earned their first career nominations. The biggest surprise on the day was Laura Karpman getting in for Best Score over predicted heavyweights such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Eight total nominations is nothing to cry about, but I’m sure Warner Bros. was expecting a few more considering the historic run the blockbuster went on during the precursor season. Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig appeared on nearly every list for Best Lead Actress and Best Director; respectively, but neither were able to crack the final Oscar lineup. The film also missed a crucial Best Film Editing nomination. This isn’t the end of the road, as the film still has a fighting chance to win several categories.
Winner: Film Festivals
As the Academy becomes more diverse and international, it makes sense that the world’s biggest film festivals grow in their influence. All three of the major competitive festivals - Cannes (Anatomy of a Fall), Venice (Poor Things), and TIFF (American Fiction) - had their top winner appear in the Best Picture lineup. Barbie and Oppenheimer were the only Best Picture nominees to not world premiere at a festival. If either of them ends up winning Best Picture, they would be the first non-festival winner since The Departed.
Loser: Killers of the Flower Moon
Could Martin Scorsese have a third film be nominated for 10 Oscars and go home empty-handed? It seems likely at this point, with Lily Gladstone’s lead performance being the film’s best (and only) chance of getting itself in the winner’s column. With big misses in both Best Lead Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Adapted Screenplay, Apple’s awards team will be working overtime to make sure they receive at least one piece of hardware for their years-long efforts.
If not for the consolidated Best Sound category and the still baffling snubbing from the Best Visual Effects longlist, Christopher Nolan’s biopic may very well have set the record for most nominations received by a single film. The film appeared in every category was it eligible for; and now seems a virtual lock to win the majority of those categories, including Best Picture.
The awards trajectory of Emerald Fennell’s sophomore feature has had just as many twists and turns as the film itself. The film seemed to crash immediately out of the gate at the Telluride Film Festival, only to be revived with a slew of nominations at the Critics Choice and BAFTAs. Those precursors plus the film’s surging popularity at the height of voting made it seem poised to appear in a few categories, but it was totally blanked.
Winner: Action Films
You can’t talk about action movies in 2023 without first mentioning John Wick: Chapter 4, which continued the franchise’s tradition of being ignored by the Academy. But that sacrifice wasn’t in vain as the Mission: Impossible series picked up its first-ever nominations in Best Visual Effects and Best Sound. Ridley Scott’s Napoleon amassed three total nominations, and The Creator made a shocking appearance in Best Sound.
Winner: The Zone of Interest
If you had told me a Jonathan Glazer film would accumulate five nominations - including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay - I would have called you crazy. Both The Zone of Interest and Anatomy of a Fall were birthed at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and now they appear in many of the same categories at this year’s Oscars. It’s further proof that no movie is too weird or anti-Oscar for this Academy.