The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Academy Awards 2024

by Bill Grinnell

The Academy Awards ceremony is the biggest event of the year for me. I actually refer to it as Film Geek Christmas, and yes, as much as I hate to admit it, this day is more important to me than Christmas.

Unlike last year when no one could say for sure who would win in almost all the categories, this year everything is already locked down. Everyone is almost completly unanimous about each winner.

Here are my best guesses for Oscar night 2024:

Best Picture

Everyone saw this one coming for the last six months. Oppenheimer has captured all four of the major precursor predictors: Producers Guild, Directors Guild, Actors Guild and Writers Guild awards. A feat only accomplished five other times (including last year), and each time the film won Best Picture.

Long considered the likely runner up, Poor Things is the most likely, yet highly unlikely, to steal the prize.

Best Actor

There’s been a lot of buzz around Paul Giamatti recently, but Cillian Murphy has captured literally every other award this year and is unlikely to be replaced here.

Best Actress

Like last year, this one is little better than a coin toss. All of the predictions are for Lily Gladstone to win it, and she recently won the SAG award. This award is considered highly predictive because it comes late in the season and actors make up the largest voting block in the Academy.

Yet there are some times when watching a performance that you literally know that “he/she has to win for this” because the performance is that impressive. This year, that’s Emma Stone and it was my exact reaction when watching Poor Things.

Gladstone’s Problem: her screen time is very small. So much so that many question if she’s even in the right category.

Stone’s Problem: She’s already won once and at 35 is considered to be still young enough to win another one in the future.

I am of the firm opinion that Stone should win, but everything else is screaming Gladstone. Stone could still win and no one would be shocked, but it seems more likely that Gladstone will take the award.

Best Supporting Actor

Downey has likewise won everything else. It’s also clear everyone feels that it’s his year to finally win. But he clearly deserves it without that. He’s head and shoulders above anyone else in the category.

Best Supporting Actress

Another phenomenally easy one. Like Downey, she has no real competition.

Best Director

After an impressive twenty year career, Christopher Nolan will finally take home an Oscar. He does have some strong competition from Yorgos Lanthimos though. It’s also possibly, though highly unlikely, that they will decide that at 81 this is Scorsese’s last chance to win a second Oscar, an honor many feel he deserves as “the greatest living director.”

and all the rest….

Winners are featured in Bold-italic type, followed by the Runner-Up and Outside Chance predictions.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • The Holdovers
  • Past Lives

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Fiction
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things

Best Cinematography

  • Oppenheimer
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Poor Things

Best Film Editing

  • Oppenheimer
  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • Poor Things

Best Production Design

  • Poor Things
  • Barbie
  • Oppenheimer

Best Costume Design

  • Barbie
  • Poor Things
  • Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Original Score

  • Oppenheimer
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Poor Things

Best Original Song

  • What Was I Made For (“Barbie”)
  •  I’m Just Ken (“Barbie”)

Best Sound

  • Oppenheimer
  • Zone of Interest
  • Maestro

Best Visual Effects

  • The Creator
  • Godzilla: Minus One
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Best Makeup and Hair

  • Maestro
  • Poor Things
  • Oppenheimer

Best Animated Feature

  • Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse
  • The Boy and the Heron

Best International Film

  • The Zone of Interest
  • Perfect Days
Categorized as Reviews

By Bill Grinnell

Bachelor's Degrees in Drama and History from the University of Washington in 1997. 144 credits in Drama and 90 in History with a 3.45 gpa.

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