Is an ‘Oppenheimer’ Sweep Inevitable?

Estimated read time 10 min read

The Big Picture

  • Oppenheimer is primed for an Oscar night triumph with 13 nominations, a clear front-runner in multiple categories.
  • Collider Senior Producer Perri Nemiroff predicts how many of those nominations will turn into wins.
  • The 96th Oscars will air in the U.S. on ABC on Sunday, March 10th, 2024 at 7 pm EDT/4 pm PDT.

It’s time to forecast Hollywood’s biggest event of the year. Welcome to Collider’s FYC hub, your best resource for Oscars 2024 predictions. Here, Senior Producer Perri Nemiroff will keep you up to date on the leading contenders based on her knowledge of industry trends and whispers. Remember to come back often for updates. Awards Season is a roller-coaster ride and the odds are always changing.

The Latest Oscar Predictions

Updated ​​​March 8, 2024


Welcome back to Collider FYC’s Oscar season predictions.

The big night is upon us. The Academy Awards are just two days away, and it’s shaping up to be one big Oppenheimer celebration.

Traditionally, movies that hit theaters earlier in the year, particularly before “awards season” begins in late August/early September, have a higher mountain to climb to make it to Oscar night. It isn’t easy sustaining momentum as dozens of new contenders enter the race. But, it looks as though Oppenheimer’s done it. Not only is it going into the big night the most-nominated film of the season with 13 nods, but it’s also bound to walk away with the most wins.

Oppenheimer didn’t spend awards season maintaining buzz. The Christopher Nolan-directed epic has steadily gained momentum since hitting theaters last summer. Oppenheimer wrapping up the ceremony with the most statuettes feels like a given, but I’ll be bold enough to predict that Oppenheimer leaves Sunday night’s celebration as a nine-time Oscar winner.

Let’s take a look at where Oppenheimer will dominate, and which categories could go to other titles:

The Academy Award for Best Picture

Front-runner: ‘Oppenheimer’

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer Image via Universal Pictures

It’s not easy having a summer release and sustaining momentum all the way to awards season, but Oppenheimer has done it spectacularly. It emerged as an early frontrunner in July and, after becoming the most nominated film of the season, it has a firmer hold on the #1 spot on this list than ever.

If you’re wondering which titles you should keep an eye on as potential (but highly unlikely) upsets, I’d scratch Barbie off that list. While eight Oscar nominations is quite the haul, not landing in the Best Director and Best Actress categories is cause for concern. On the other hand, as predicted, the crowd-pleasing charmers, The Holdovers and American Fiction, have proven to be strong forces this season, and given Poor Things is officially the second most nominated film of the season, it’s also worth considering.

Realistically, though, ranking this category is likely pointless. Oppenheimer continues to appear unstoppable in this category and many others.

Current Rankings

  1. Oppenheimer — Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan
  2. The Holdovers — Mark Johnson, Bill Block, David Hemingson
  3. American Fiction — Cord Jefferson, Jermaine Johnson, Nikos Karamigios, Ben LeClair
  4. Poor Things — Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone
  5. Barbie — David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Robbie Brenner
  6. Killers of the Flower Moon — Dan Friedkin, Martin Scorsese, Bradley Thomas, Daniel Lupi
  7. Anatomy of a Fall — Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion
  8. Past Lives — David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon
  9. The Zone of Interest— Ewa Puszczynska, James Wilson
  10. Maestro — Fred Berner, Bradley Cooper, Amy Durning, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg

For deeper coverage of the Best Picture race, click below.


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The Academy Award for Best Director

Front-runner: Christopher Nolan, ‘Oppenheimer’

Christopher Nolan, Hoyte van Hoytema, and Cillian Murphy Oppenheimer on the set of Oppenheimer

I’m ranking the nominees in this category because, well, I have to. This race feels as close to over as one could be at this point in the season. Not only does it continue to look like Christopher Nolan is miles ahead of the pack, but there’s nothing to suggest one of the four other nominees has any shot at pulling off a surprise win. Nolan will finally become an Academy Award winning director on March 10th.

Current Rankings

  1. Christopher Nolan — Oppenheimer
  2. Martin Scorsese — Killers of the Flower Moon
  3. Yorgos Lanthimos — Poor Things
  4. Justine Triet — Anatomy of a Fall
  5. Jonathan Glazer — The Zone of Interest

For deeper coverage of the Best Director race, click below.


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The Academy Award for Best Actor

Front-runner: Cillian Murphy, ‘Oppenheimer’

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer Image via Universal Pictures

Paul Giamatti is an unassuming industry icon, a past Oscar nominee for his supporting performance in Cinderella Man, and is well remembered for having suffered one the most outrageous snubs of all time when he didn’t get a nomination for his performance in Sideways. It started to look like the Academy was going to fix that error, not just with a nomination for Giamatti, but with a Best Actor win. However, the results of the BAFTAs and now the results of the Screen Actors Guild Awards might have changed that. Had Giamatti and Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy split the SAG and BAFTA wins, I would have told you anything is possible on Oscar night. The race is as close as it can get. Either could win. However, having the BAFTA and the SAG Award in his back pocket tips the scale in Murphy’s direction big time.

Current Rankings

  1. Cillian Murphy — Oppenheimer
  2. Paul Giamatti — The Holdovers
  3. Bradley Cooper — Maestro
  4. Jeffrey Wright — American Fiction
  5. Colman Domingo — Rustin

For deeper coverage of the Best Actor race, click below.


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The Academy Award for Best Actress

Front-runner: Lily Gladstone, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

Lily Gladstone as Molly, looking at her husband Ernest, in Killers of the Flower Moon Image via Apple TV+

After Lily Gladstone was snubbed by BAFTA, not even securing a nomination while Emma Stone took home that win, it appeared as though Best Actress was no longer a “Battle of the Stones,” rather, a race with a very clear frontrunner. The Screen Actors Guild Awards just changed that. In one of the biggest surprises of the night, Gladstone, not Stone, claimed the win for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her work in Killers of the Flower Moon. Had Stone won the SAG Award, she would have become the runaway favorite in the category. But, now that Gladstone has the SAG win and Stone has the BAFTA, Best Actress will be one of the most exciting Oscar battles to watch on March 10th.

Current Rankings

  1. Lily Gladstone — Killers of the Flower Moon
  2. Emma Stone — Poor Things
  3. Sandra Hüller — Anatomy of a Fall
  4. Carey Mulligan — Maestro
  5. Annette Bening — Nyad

For deeper coverage of the Best Actress race, click below.


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The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

Front-runner: Robert Downey Jr., ‘Oppenheimer’

Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) looks upset as he sits at a table in a tuxedo arguing about the nuclear bomb. Image via Universal Pictures

Robert Downey Jr. has dominated this category all season, and it seems unlikely that will change. He won at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Awards, the BAFTAs and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and there’s nothing to suggest that his winning streak will end there. Best Supporting Actor going to Downey Jr. for his performance as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer remains one of the safest bets of the season.

Current Rankings

  1. Robert Downey Jr. — Oppenheimer
  2. Ryan Gosling — Barbie
  3. Robert DeNiro — Killers of the Flower Moon
  4. Sterling K. Brown — American Fiction
  5. Mark Ruffalo — Poor Things

For deeper coverage of the Best Supporting Actor race, click below.


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The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Front-runner: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, ‘The Holdovers’

Dominic Sessa and Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Angus and Mary, sitting together while Mary offers Angus her hand in The Holdovers Image via Focus Features

If you’re looking for the category that’s the safest bet this season, it’s Best Supporting Actress. As predicted, Da’Vine Joy Randolph is having an epic run, coming in with one win after the next. Given how beloved The Holdovers and her work in it appears to be, I’m having an impossible time picturing anyone else in this category taking the Oscar win.

Current Rankings

  1. Da’Vine Joy Randolph — The Holdovers
  2. Danielle Brooks — The Color Purple
  3. Emily Blunt — Oppenheimer
  4. Jodie Foster — Nyad
  5. America Ferrara — Barbie

For deeper coverage of the Best Supporting Actress race, click below.


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The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

Front-runner: Arthur Harari and Justine Triet, ‘Anatomy of a Fall’

Two people look at a deceased body in the snow in 'Anatomy of a Fall.' Image via NEON

The moment confirmation came in that Barbie would compete in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, it seemed as though Best Original Screenplay became The Holdovers’ award to lose. However, given how things have progressed in recent weeks and months, it looks like we’ve got a new frontrunner. While The Holdovers is still poised to fair well in at least one category, Best Original Screenplay appears to be Anatomy of a Fall’s place to shine. Given the movie scooped up five nominations, including a Best Picture nod, it’s clear there’s a significant amount of Academy support for the film. I’d be shocked if it didn’t win something on Oscar night, and Best Original Screenplay looks like its best chance.

Current Rankings

  1. Arthur Harari and Justine Triet — Anatomy of a Fall
  2. David Hemingson — The Holdovers
  3. Celine Song — Past Lives
  4. Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer — Maestro
  5. Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik — May December

The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Front-runner: Christopher Nolan, ‘Oppenheimer’

Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer Image via Universal

Oppenheimer certainly has some solid competition in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, but it’s also proving to be a near-unbeatable force this Oscar season. One could make a case for Cord Jefferson in this category after his screenplay won at the BAFTAs and the Film Independent Spirit Awards, but does American Fiction have enough widespread support to top an awards season juggernaut like Oppenheimer? The other possibility is that Greta Gerwig’s snub in Best Director and Margot Robbie’s snub in Best Actress could wind up serving it well here. Perhaps a boost of support from Barbie fans who won’t be able to vote for the film in those two categories could tip the scale in this one. Those are both possibilities we can’t rule out, but it seems the Oppenheimer sweep is the real deal. I’m certainly betting on it in this category and elsewhere.

Current Rankings

  1. Christopher Nolan — Oppenheimer
  2. Cord Jefferson — American Fiction
  3. Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach — Barbie
  4. Tony McNamara — Poor Things
  5. Jonathan Glazer — The Zone of Interest

When Are The Oscars?

A picture of an Oscar statue in front of a clock and a red curtain.

The 96th Oscars will air in the U.S. on ABC on Sunday, March 10th, 2024 at 7 pm EDT/4 pm PDT. Before then, preliminary voting runs from December 14th to 18th, with the Oscar Shortlists coming out on Thursday, December 21st. After that, voting for nominations opens on January 11th and ends on the 16th. The Academy reveals the nominees on Tuesday, January 23rd. Final voting kicks off on February 22nd and concludes on the 27th. As the Academy goes through the rounds of voting, we’ll be bringing you updates on how the landscape is changing. Be sure to check back in as the season heats up.