Daniel Rester’s February Winner Predictions for the 96th Oscars

The biggest night in Hollywood is right around the corner on March 10th, 2024. Before the Oscars though, we still have the PGA Awards, SAG Awards, and BAFTA Awards to look forward to. SAG has gone four for four the last two years in predicting the acting category winners, so we will see if that continues to be a trend.

As of now, Oppenheimer still looks to be the big champion of Oscar night. The film has swept a lot of awards season and Christopher Nolan just won the top prize at the DGA Awards. Oppenheimer will likely win at least seven Oscars of its thirteen nominations.

Some people thought The Holdovers could be a surprise Best Picture Oscar winner dark horse when it overperformed on nominations for the BAFTAs, but Alexander Payne missing in the Best Director field for Oscar nominations dropped it back down. Many of the categories just seem pretty predictable this year. Poor Things, Barbie, and The Holdovers are all likely to take home at least a couple of statues each, but Oppenheimer will be the one dominating most categories.

*** indicates who I think will win in each category as of today. I will deliver my final winner predictions the day or two before the 96th Oscars.

Best Picture

American Fiction
Anatomy of a Fall
Barbie
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
Maestro
***Oppenheimer
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Best Director

Justine Triet, Anatomy of a Fall
Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
***Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things
Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest

Best Actress

Annette Bening, Nyad
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall
Carey Mulligan, Maestro
***Emma Stone, Poor Things

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Colman Domingo, Rustin
***Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction

Best Supporting Actress

Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
America Ferrera, Barbie
Jodie Foster, Nyad
***Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Best Supporting Actor

Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction
Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon
***Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling, Barbie
Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Best Original Screenplay

***Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Maestro
May December
Past Lives

Best Adapted Screenplay

***American Fiction
Barbie
Oppenheimer
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Best Cinematography

El Conde
Killers of the Flower Moon
Maestro
***Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Original Score

American Fiction
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Killers of the Flower Moon
***Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Original Song

“The Fire Inside,” Flamin’ Hot
“I’m Just Ken,” Barbie
“It Never Went Away,” American Symphony
“Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People),” Killers of the Flower Moon
***”What Was I Made For?” Barbie

Best Editing

Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
***Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Production Design

***Barbie
Killers of the Flower Moon
Napoleon
Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Costume Design

Barbie
Killers of the Flower Moon
Napoleon
Oppenheimer
***Poor Things

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Golda
Maestro
Oppenheimer
***Poor Things
Society of the Snow

Best Sound

The Creator
Maestro
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
***Oppenheimer
The Zone of Interest

Best Visual Effects

***The Creator
Godzilla Minus One
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Napoleon

Best International Feature

Io Capitano
Perfect Days
Society of the Snow
The Teachers’ Lounge
***The Zone of Interest

Best Animated Feature

The Boy and the Heron
Elemental
Nimona
Robot Dreams
***Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best Documentary Feature

Bobi Wine: The People’s President
The Eternal Memory
Four Daughters
To Kill a Tiger
***20 Days in Mariupol

Best Animated Short

Letter to a Pig
***Ninety-Five Senses
Our Uniform
Pachyderme
War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko

Best Documentary Short

The ABCs of Book Banning
The Barber of Little Rock
Island in Between
***The Last Repair Shop
Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó

Best Live-Action Short

The After
Invincible
Knight of Fortune
***Red, White and Blue
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

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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