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

Awards season is really heating up now.

Question mark films like Napoleon, Wonka, The Iron Claw, and The Color Purple have screened. Napoleon opened to mixed reviews and will likely pick up only a couple of craft nominations at most, if any. Wonka and The Iron Claw have gotten warm receptions from critics so far while The Color Purple is being declared the best film of the year by some. The latter film could shake things up big time if more critics start loving it and if it becomes a mega box office hit at the end of December.

The Gotham Awards also gave boosts to a few films, with the winners being announced the other day. Past Lives took the main prize, helping its Best Picture chances. Charles Melton taking Supporting Performance for May December certainly positions him better in the Best Supporting Actor race. Anatomy of a Fall also performed well with Best Screenplay and Best International Feature wins. Though Anatomy was not chosen by France for the International race, many still predict it will crack into Best Picture.

A few “snubs” I see as possibilities are Sandra Huller, Lily Gladstone, and Jeffrey Wright. The acting categories are very crowded this year, and the Academy tends to not nominate people in Best Picture-nominated films for all five slots in each category. So, don’t be too surprised if people like Cailee Spaeny and Charles Melton show up for smaller films not in the Best Picture race. 

The main race still seems to be Oppenheimer versus Poor Things with the most nominations and wins. I still have Oppenheimer as the frontrunner unless Poor Things and The Color Purple really shake things up with their December public releases.

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).

Best Picture

Anatomy of a Fall 

American Fiction 

Barbie 

The Color Purple 

The Holdovers 

Killers of the Flower Moon

Maestro

***Oppenheimer

Past Lives 

Poor Things

Other Possibilities:

Nyad

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

The Zone of Interest

Best Director

Blitz Bazawule – The Color Purple

***Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer

Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest

Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon

Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things

Other Possibilities:

Alexander Payne – The Holdovers

Greta Gerwig – Barbie

Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall

Best Actress

Annette Bening – Nyad

Cailee Spaeny – Priscilla 

Carey Mulligan – Maestro

***Emma Stone – Poor Things

Fantasia Barrino – The Color Purple

Other Possibilities: 

Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon

Margot Robbie – Barbie

Sandra Huller – Anatomy of a Fall

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 

Barry Keoghan – Saltburn

Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

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: 

Julianne Moore – May December

Rosamund Pike – Saltburn 

Taraji P. Henson – The Color Purple

Best Supporting Actor

Charles Melton – May December 

Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things 

Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon

***Robert Downey Jr. – Oppenheimer 

Ryan Gosling – Barbie 

Other Possibilities: 

Peter Sarsgaard – Memory 

Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction 

Willem Dafoe – Poor Things 

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Fiction 

Barbie

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Oppenheimer

***Poor Things

Other Possibilities: 

All of Us Strangers 

The Color Purple 

The Zone of Interest 

Best Original Screenplay

Air

Anatomy of a Fall 

***The Holdovers

Maestro

Past Lives

Other Possibilities: 

May December 

Rustin

Saltburn

Best Cinematography 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Maestro 

***Oppenheimer 

Poor Things 

Saltburn 

Other Possibilities: 

The Color Purple 

Saltburn 

The Zone of Interest 

Best Costume Design 

Barbie 

The Color Purple

The Little Mermaid

***Poor Things 

Wonka 

Other Possibilities: 

Asteroid City 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Napoleon

Best Editing 

Anatomy of a Fall 

Ferrari 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

***Oppenheimer 

Poor Things 

Other Possibilities: 

The Color Purple 

The Holdovers 

Maestro

Best Production Design 

***Barbie 

The Color Purple 

Oppenheimer 

Poor Things 

Wonka

Other Possibilities:

Asteroid City 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

The Little Mermaid 

Best Animated Feature 

The Boy and the Heron 

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nuggets 

Elemental

The Peasants 

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

Other Possibilities:

Nimona

They Shot the Piano Player 

Wish

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Barbie 

***Maestro 

Poor Things

Priscilla 

Wonka

Other Possibilities: 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The Color Purple 

Napoleon

Best Sound

The Color Purple 

Ferrari 

The Killer 

***Oppenheimer

The Zone of Interest

Other Possibilities: 

Killers of the Flower Moon

Maestro

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best Visual Effects

The Creator

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

***The Little Mermaid

Oppenheimer

Other Possibilities: 

The Marvels 

Poor Things

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best Original Score

Elemental 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

***Killers of the Flower Moon 

Oppenheimer

Poor Things 

Other Possibilities: 

Past Lives 

Society of the Snow

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

Best Original Song

“Gonna Be You” – 80 for Brady

***“I’m Just Ken” – Barbie

“Keep It Movin” – The Color Purple

“This Wish” – Wish

“What Was I Made For?” – Barbie

Other Possibilities: 

“A World of Your Own” – Wonka

“Better Place” – Trolls Band Together

“Steal the Show” – Elemental 

Best Documentary Feature

American Symphony

***Beyond Utopia

The Eternal Memory

Four Daughters

20 Days in Mariupol

Other Possibilities: 

Anselm

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

Stamped from the Beginning 

Best International Feature

Perfect Days – Japan 

Society of the Snow – Spain

The Taste of Things – France

The Teachers’ Lounge – Germany

***The Zone of Interest – United Kingdom

Other Possibilities: 

About Dry Grasses – Turkey

Io Capitano – Italy

The Monk and the Gun – Bhutan

Best Animated Short Film

***Once Upon a Studio

Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) 

Starling 

27

Way Better

Other Possibilities: 

The Brave Locomotive

Chutes

Peter and the Wolf 

Best Live Action Short Film

Chat Mort

Motherland

***The Old Young Crow

We Were Meant To 

When You Left Me on That Boulevard

Other Possibilities: 

The Shepherd

Strange Way of Life

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Best Documentary Short Film 

Camp Courage

***Deciding Vote

The Last Repair Shop

Last Song from Kabul

Madeleine

Other Possibilities: 

The ABCs of Book Banning

Keys to the City

The Takeover

Total Nomination and Win Counts: 

Oppenheimer – 12 nominations, winning 6

Poor Things – 11 nominations, winning 3

Barbie – 8 nominations, winning 2

The Color Purple – 8 nominations, winning 1

Killers of the Flower Moon – 8 nominations, winning 1

Maestro – 6 nominations, winning 2

The Holdovers – 4 nominations, winning 1

The Zone of Interest – 3 nominations, winning 1

Anatomy of a Fall – 3 nominations, winning 0

Ferrari – 3 nominations, winning 0

Wonka – 3 nominations, winning 0

The Little Mermaid – 2 nominations, winning 1

American Fiction – 2 nominations, winning 0

Past Lives – 2 nominations, winning 0

Nyad – 2 nominations, winning 0

Priscilla – 2 nominations, winning 0

Elemental – 2 nominations, winning 0

Beyond Utopia – 1 nomination, winning 1

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – 1 nomination, winning 1

Once Upon a Studio – 1 nomination, winning 1

The Old Young Crow – 1 nomination, winning 1

Deciding Vote – 1 nomination, winning 1

Rustin – 1 nomination, winning 0

May December – 1 nomination, winning 0

Air – 1 nomination, winning 0

Saltburn – 1 nomination, winning 0

Wish – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Boy and the Heron – 1 nomination, winning 0 

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

The Peasants – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Killer – 1 nomination, winning 0

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

The Creator – 1 nomination, winning 0

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves – 1 nomination, winning 0

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

American Symphony – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Eternal Memory – 1 nomination, winning 0

Four Daughters – 1 nomination, winning 0

20 Days in Mariupol – 1 nomination, winning 0

Perfect Days – 1 nomination, winning 0

Society of the Snow – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Taste of Things – 1 nomination, winning 0

The Teachers’ Lounge – 1 nomination, winning 0

80 for Brady – 1 nomination, winning 0

Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) – 1 nomination, winning 0

Starling – 1 nomination, winning 0

27 – 1 nomination, winning 0

Way Better – 1 nomination, winning 0

Chat Mort – 1 nomination, winning 0

Motherland – 1 nomination, winning 0

We Were Meant To – 1 nomination, winning 0

When You Left Me on That Boulevard – 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

Madeleine – 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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