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2024 Oscar predictions: See who will win Best Picture, Actress, and more

EW's 2024 Oscar predictions break down the battle between Emma Stone vs. Lily Gladstone for Best Actress and the rise of "Oppenheimer" toward Best Picture.

January's shocking nominations announcement might've made Barbenheimer a thing of the past, but the future is bright for top awards contenders as we head into the final stretch of the 2024 Oscar race — including the all-important BAFTA Awards winners — with EW's predictions for who will win at the Academy Awards.

From Oppenheimer's domination of the precursor circuit to Anatomy of a Fall's slow but steady ascent from Cannes (where Jane Fonda hilariously tossed a Palme d'Or scroll at director Justine Triet) to potential Oscars gold, there are still a few major stops to make before the Academy Awards, including the SAG Awards, Producers Guild Awards, and the BAFTA Awards — all of which serve to cement the frontrunner status of Christopher Nolan, Emma Stone, and more in their respective categories.

Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the 96th Academy Awards ceremony, which is set to air Sunday, March 10 on ABC live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Until then, see EW's 2024 Oscar predictions for who will win in all of the key categories below, updating as the race progresses in the weeks ahead.

<p>Focus Features; Searchlight Pictures; Universal Pictures; AMPAS</p> EW's 2024 Oscar predictions: Paul Giamatti, Emma Stone, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Robert Downey Jr.

Focus Features; Searchlight Pictures; Universal Pictures; AMPAS

EW's 2024 Oscar predictions: Paul Giamatti, Emma Stone, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Robert Downey Jr.

Best Picture

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

Surprisingly, the Best Picture battle of the three-hour-plus movies was over relatively quickly, after winners for significant precursors were announced. Christopher Nolan's historical drama cleaned up at the box office — earning over $950 million globally — before sweeping the early awards circuit, enough so that the movie has become the default choice for nearly all journalist groups and industry awards bodies (including a momentous BAFTA win for Best Film) alike. Nothing can stop Oppenheimer's reign — not even Martin Scorsese's similarly lengthy, critically lauded twilight-era entry in his decades-long career.

Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures Emily Blunt, Christopher Nolan, and Cillian Murphy on the set of 'Oppenheimer'
Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures Emily Blunt, Christopher Nolan, and Cillian Murphy on the set of 'Oppenheimer'

Best Director

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

The man behind the success of Oppenheimer is exactly what Hollywood needs right now: an A-list director popular with actors, fellow filmmakers, and audiences alike. He's a movie-making titan who can sell tickets to a picture on his name alone, regardless of star wattage in front of his camera. His vitality to the system stretches beyond Hollywood and into cinema's global reaches, and Academy voters across multiple branches spoke in favor of his Oppenheimer achievements by awarding the film with 13 overall Oscar nods in January. Building that kind of support among the branches all but assures that the Academy will hoist Nolan to the podium for the first time for stringing it all together in one movie.

Courtesy FOCUS FEATURES Dominic Sessa and Paul Giamatti in 'The Holdovers'
Courtesy FOCUS FEATURES Dominic Sessa and Paul Giamatti in 'The Holdovers'

Best Actor

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

At one point, it felt inevitable that Cillian Murphy might go along for the ride as Oppenheimer decimated nearly every voter's attention at the start of the race, but critical favor burned slow and steady for The Holdovers' Paul Giamatti, whose turn as a curmudgeonly professor watching over a troubled student (Dominic Sessa) over a bleak holiday break speaks to the softer side of the heart, versus Murphy's fire and fury. In that sense, you'd think that Giamatti's is a far more accessible, tender performance that could speak to a wider range of voters, and should secure him both the SAG statuette and the subsequent Oscar after that. Giamatti's late-breaking surge hit a roadblock at BAFTA, though, where the actor lost to Murphy — which is either a signal of the actor's weakening stance in the race, or simply a case of homeland advantage, as Murphy hails from nearby Ireland. SAG will be the deciding factor here. Whoever takes home that trophy takes home Oscars gold, too.

Yorgos Lanthimos/Searchlight Pictures Emma Stone in 'Poor Things'
Yorgos Lanthimos/Searchlight Pictures Emma Stone in 'Poor Things'

Best Actress

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

Keeping up with category tradition, Best Actress is perhaps the most interesting acting race of the year — thanks to the atypical contenders vying for the top prize. Lily Gladstone made history by becoming the first Native actress to score a nod in this category, and she seemed likeliest to win as the race kicked off last year. Poor Things' star and Academy favorite Emma Stone, however, rocked the narrative with her off-kilter work in Yorgos Lanthimos' peculiar emotional epic, charting her Frankenstein-esque character's evolution from dawdling infant to fully realized feminist. Purely on the surface, there's not as much of an outward arc in Gladstone's similarly sublime performance, and when voting on a winner, the whole of the Academy's base might gravitate toward a performance they can feel and see written all over Stone via makeup, costumes, and more transformational elements.

Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures Robert Downey Jr. in 'Oppenheimer'
Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures Robert Downey Jr. in 'Oppenheimer'

Best Supporting Actor

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

As popular as Oppenheimer is, Robert Downey Jr.'s performance likely went along for the ride, here. The Academy loves a notable actor altering their appearance — especially when it's for a role based on a real-life historical figure. Here, the Marvel star sheds the glint of superhero stardom to play an aging Rear Admiral Lewis Strauss, with some audiences labeling him unrecognizable in the part. That was seemingly enough for industry voters to chart his path to his first Oscar victory — a long overdue accolade for one of the lesser performances in his stunning filmography.

<p>Everett Collection</p> Da'Vine Joy Randolph in 'The Holdovers'

Everett Collection

Da'Vine Joy Randolph in 'The Holdovers'

Best Supporting Actress

Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
America Ferrera, Barbie
Jodie Foster, Nyad
PREDICTED WINNER: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

A vital piece of connective tissue that holds The Holdovers together, you could make the case that Da'Vine Joy Randolph is the heart of Alexander Payne's film. The industry has certainly had its finger on the pulse when it comes to Randolph hitting every major beat to date, scooping up accolades from the Golden Globes to the Critics Choice Awards, making her victory as inevitable as it is deserved.

Best Original Screenplay

PREDICTED WINNER: Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Maestro
May December
Past Lives

Best Adapted Screenplay

PROJECTED WINNER:
American Fiction
Barbie
Oppenheimer
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Best Animated Feature

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

a24 Christian Friedel in 'The Zone of Interest'
a24 Christian Friedel in 'The Zone of Interest'

Best International Feature

Io Capitano (Italy)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Society of the Snow (Spain)
The Teachers' Lounge (Germany)
PREDICTED WINNER: The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom)

Best Documentary Feature

Bobi Wine: The People's President
The Eternal Memory
Four Daughters
To Kill a Tiger

PREDICTED WINNER: 20 Days in Mariupol

Best Film Editing

Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
PREDICTED WINNER: Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Costume Design

Barbie
Killers of the Flower Moon
Napoleon
Oppenheimer
PREDICTED WINNER: Poor Things

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Golda
PREDICTED WINNER: Maestro
Oppenheimer
Poor Things
Society of the Snow

Best Production Design

Barbie
Killers of the Flower Moon
Napoleon
Oppenheimer
PREDICTED WINNER: Poor Things

Best Cinematography

El Conde
Killers of the Flower Moon
Maestro
PREDICTED WINNER: Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Sound

The Creator
Maestro
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning

PREDICTED WINNER: Oppenheimer
The Zone of Interest

Best Visual Effects

The Creator
PREDICTED WINNER: Godzilla Minus One
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Napoleon

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Finneas and Billie Eilish

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Finneas and Billie Eilish

Best Original Song

"The Fire Inside" from Flamin' Hot, music and lyrics by Diane Warren
"I'm Just Ken" from Barbie, music and lyrics by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt
"It Never Went Away" from American Symphony, music and lyrics by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson
"Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)" from Killers of the Flower Moon, music and lyrics by Scott George
PREDICTED WINNER: "What Was I Made For?" from Barbie, music and lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell

Best Original Score

American Fiction
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Killers of the Flower Moon
PREDICTED WINNER: Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Animated Short

Letter to a Pig
Ninety-Five Senses
Our Uniform
Pachyderme
PREDICTED WINNER: War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko

Best Live Action Short

The After
Invincible
Knight of Fortune
Red, White, and Blue
PREDICTED WINNER: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Best Documentary Short

PREDICTED WINNER: The ABCs of Book Banning
The Barber of Little Rock
Island in Between
The Last Repair Shop
Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó

Check out more from EW's The Awardistfeaturing exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best in TV.

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