Daniel Rester’s December Nomination Predictions for the 96th Oscars

The Oscar shortlists were revealed the other day and provided some insight into certain categories. The HCA, Golden Globe, and Critics’ Choice nominations were revealed earlier this month. A lot of critics groups have also revealed their annual winners. December has been busy.

Barbie gained a lot of momentum in December (especially with its record-breaking 18 nomination count for Critics’ Choice), while The Color Purple has not performed quite as well as expected with some awards show nominations (missing big at the Golden Globes in certain categories). Oppenheimer still remains the frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar as of now, with Poor Things, Barbie, and Killers of the Flower Moon being possible as well.

The Zone of Interest got a big Best Picture Oscar nomination boost with its win of Best Picture from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The same goes for All of Us Strangers for an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination as it won in LAFCA’s Best Screenplay category. Those two category winners at LAFCA very often go on to become nominees in those respective categories at the Oscars.

Side note: Yes, Barbie might be campaigning in Original Screenplay, but I believe the Academy will shift it to Adapted Screenplay since it is clearly based off of a previous property. This has happened before with other films, such as Moonlight (2016).

*** indicates who I think will win in the category.

Best Picture

American Fiction 

Barbie 

The Color Purple 

The Holdovers 

Killers of the Flower Moon

Maestro

***Oppenheimer

Past Lives 

Poor Things

The Zone of Interest 

Other Possibilities:

Air

Anatomy of a Fall

May December 

Best Director

***Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer

Greta Gerwig – Barbie

Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest

Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon

Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things

Other Possibilities:

Alexander Payne – The Holdovers 

Bradley Cooper – Maestro

Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall 

Best Actress

Carey Mulligan – Maestro

***Emma Stone – Poor Things

Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon

Margot Robbie – Barbie 

Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall

Other Possibilities: 

Annette Bening – Nyad

Fantasia Barrino – The Color Purple

Greta Lee – Past Lives 

Best Actor

***Bradley Cooper – Maestro

Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer

Colman Domingo – Rustin

Leonardo DiCaprio – Killers of the Flower Moon 

Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers

Other Possibilities: 

Andrew Scott – All of Us Strangers 

Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

Zac Efron – The Iron Claw 

Best Supporting Actress

Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple

***Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer

Jodie Foster – Nyad

Penelope Cruz – Ferrari

Other Possibilities: 

America Ferrera – Barbie 

Julianne Moore – May December

Rachel McAdams – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Best Supporting Actor

Charles Melton – May December 

Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things 

***Robert Downey Jr. – Oppenheimer 

Ryan Gosling – Barbie 

Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction

Other Possibilities: 

Matt Damon – Oppenheimer 

Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon

Willem Dafoe – Poor Things

Best Adapted Screenplay

All of Us Strangers 

***Barbie

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Oppenheimer

Poor Things 

Other Possibilities: 

American Fiction 

The Color Purple 

The Zone of Interest 

Best Original Screenplay

Air

Anatomy of a Fall 

***The Holdovers

May December 

Past Lives

Other Possibilities: 

The Iron Claw 

Maestro 

Saltburn

Best Cinematography 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Maestro 

***Oppenheimer 

Poor Things 

Saltburn 

Other Possibilities:

Barbie 

Napoleon 

The Zone of Interest 

Best Costume Design 

Barbie 

The Color Purple

Killers of the Flower Moon

Napoleon

***Poor Things 

Other Possibilities: 

Chevalier

The Little Mermaid

Wonka

Best Editing 

Barbie

Ferrari 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

***Oppenheimer 

Poor Things 

Other Possibilities: 

Anatomy of a Fall 

The Color Purple 

Maestro 

Best Production Design 

Asteroid City 

***Barbie 

The Color Purple 

Oppenheimer 

Poor Things 

Other Possibilities:

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Saltburn

Wonka

Best Animated Feature 

The Boy and the Heron 

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nuggets 

Elemental

***Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

The Super Mario Bros. Movie 

Other Possibilities:

The Peasants

Suzume 

Wish

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Golda

***Maestro

Napoleon  

Poor Things

Society of the Snow

Other Possibilities: 

Beau is Afraid

Ferrari 

Oppenheimer

Best Sound

Ferrari

Maestro 

Napoleon 

***Oppenheimer

The Zone of Interest 

Other Possibilities: 

Barbie

The Killer 

Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Visual Effects

The Creator

***Godzilla Minus One 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Napoleon 

Other Possibilities: 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Poor Things

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best Original Score

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

***Killers of the Flower Moon 

Oppenheimer

Poor Things 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

Other Possibilities: 

Barbie 

Elemental 

The Zone of Interest 

Best Original Song

“Can’t Catch Me Now” – The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

“The Fire Inside” – Flamin’ Hot

***“I’m Just Ken” – Barbie

“Road to Freedom” – Rustin 

“What Was I Made For?” – Barbie

Other Possibilities: 

“Am I Dreaming” – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

“High Life” – Flora and Son

“It Never Went Away” – American Symphony 

Best Documentary Feature

American Symphony

Beyond Utopia 

Bobi Wine: The People’s President 

Four Daughters

***20 Days in Mariupol

Other Possibilities: 

The Eternal Memory

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

Stamped from the Beginning

Best International Feature

Fallen Leaves – Finland

Society of the Snow – Spain

The Taste of Things – France

The Teachers’ Lounge – Germany

***The Zone of Interest – United Kingdom

Other Possibilities: 

Io Capitano – Italy

Perfect Days – Japan

Totem – Mexico 

Best Animated Short Film

A Kind of Testament

Letter to a Pig

***Once Upon a Studio

Ninety-Five Senses

27

Other Possibilities: 

Eeva 

Pete

Wild Summon

Best Live Action Short Film

Chat Mort (Dead Cat)

Invisible Border

***The One Note Man

Red, White and Blue

Yellow

Other Possibilities: 

Invincible 

Strange Way of Life

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Best Documentary Short Film 

The ABCs of Book Banning

Camp Courage

***Deciding Vote

The Last Repair Shop

Last Song from Kabul

Other Possibilities: 

Between Earth & Sky

Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games

How We Get Free

Total Nomination and Win Counts: 

Oppenheimer – 11 nominations, winning 6

Poor Things – 11 nominations, winning 2

Barbie – 10 nominations, winning 3

Killers of the Flower Moon – 9 nominations, winning 1

Maestro – 6 nominations, winning 2

The Holdovers – 4 nominations, winning 2

The Zone of Interest – 4 nominations, winning 1

The Color Purple – 4 nominations, winning 0

Napoleon – 4 nominations, winning 0

Ferrari – 3 nominations, winning 0

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – 2 nominations, winning 1

American Fiction – 2 nominations, winning 0

Past Lives – 2 nominations, winning 0

Anatomy of a Fall – 2 nominations, winning 0

May December – 2 nominations, winning 0

Rustin – 2 nominations, winning 0

Society of the Snow – 2 nominations, winning 0

20 Days in Mariupol – 1 nomination, winning 1

Godzilla Minus One – 1 nomination, winning 1

Once Upon a Studio – 1 nomination, winning 1

The One Note Man – 1 nomination, winning 1

Deciding Vote – 1 nomination, winning 1

Nyad – 1 nomination, winning 0

All of Us Strangers – 1 nomination, winning 0

Air – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes – 1 nomination, winning 0

Flamin’ Hot – 1 nomination, winning 0

Saltburn – 1 nomination, winning 0

Asteroid City – 1 nomination, winning 0

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – 1 nomination, winning 0

Golda – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Boy and the Heron – 1 nomination, winning 0 

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nuggets – 1 nomination, winning 0

Elemental – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Super Mario Bros. Movie – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Creator – 1 nomination, winning 0

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – 1 nomination, winning 0

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – 1 nomination, winning 0

American Symphony – 1 nomination, winning 0

Beyond Utopia – 1 nomination, winning 0

Bobi Wine: The People’s President – 1 nomination, winning 0

Four Daughters – 1 nomination, winning 0

Fallen Leaves – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Taste of Things – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Teachers’ Lounge – 1 nomination, winning 0

A Kind of Testament – 1 nomination, winning 0

Letter to a Pig – 1 nomination, winning 0

Ninety-Five Senses – 1 nomination, winning 0

27 – 1 nomination, winning 0

Chat Mort (Dead Cat) – 1 nomination, winning 0

Invisible Border – 1 nomination, winning 0

Red, White and Blue – 1 nomination, winning 0

Yellow – 1 nomination, winning 0

The ABCs of Book Banning – 1 nomination, winning 0

Camp Courage – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Last Repair Shop – 1 nomination, winning 0

Last Song from Kabul – 1 nomination, winning 0

Written by
Daniel Rester is a writer for the We Live Film portion of We Live Entertainment. He is a Southern Oregon University alumnus and has a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Communication (Film, Television, and Convergent Media) and Emerging Media and Digital Arts. He has been involved with writing and directing short films for years. Rester also won 2nd place in the Feature Screenplay Competition in the 2015 Oregon Film Awards for his screenplay "Emma Was Here," which is currently in post-production and will be Rester's feature directorial debut.

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