5 Way Too Early Oscar Predictions

The 2024 Academy Awards are still months away but who says the predictions can’t start now?

As the big awards movies begin their rollouts, there is no better time than the present to toss out some way too early predictions. Will the tried and true late-year release strategy of movies like The Color Purple and Poor Things see big returns from being at the forefront of theater-goers’ minds? Or will big summer blockbusters like Oppenheimer and Barbie remain the front runners through the long awards season?

It’s still a bit early to tell but it isn’t too early to put out some predictions as to who will win in major categories. Here are five way too early Oscar predictions that could define the entirety of the awards season.

Best Supporting Actor — Robert Downey Jr. in ‘Oppenheimer’

Robert Downey Jr. as Admiral Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer. I Agents of Fandom
Robert Downey Jr. as Admiral Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Ever since Oppenheimer’s release earlier this year, the buzz around town has been that Robert Downey Jr. is back and primed for a run at an Academy Award. I think that buzz is absolutely right. RDJ makes an absolute feast out of every moment of screen time he is given during the 3-hour epic, defining the energy, mood, and gravitas of the events taking place, particularly through the lens of his character Lewis Strauss.

The return to “cinema” after exiting the MCU, the continued redemption arc for his acting career, and the nearly unstoppable force that is Oppenheimer should see to it that Robert Downey Jr. wins his first Academy Award.

Full Nomination Predictions:

  • Robert Downey Jr. — Oppenheimer
  • Mark Ruffalo — Poor Things
  • Willem Dafoe — Poor Things
  • John Magaro — Past Lives
  • Ryan Gosling — Barbie

Best Supporting Actress — Da’Vine Joy Randolph in ‘The Holdovers’

Dominic Sessa (left) and Da'Vine Joy Randolph share a heartfelt moment in The Holdovers. I Agents of Fandom
Dominic Sessa and Da’Vine Joy Randolph share a heartfelt moment in The Holdovers. Image Credit: Focus Features.

This is a category that, while several folks are predicting Emily Blunt to take home a win for Oppenheimer, is far more up in the air than most other categories. The Holdovers is proving to be the token feel-good film of the year, posing a heartwarming story with Paul Giamatti giving one of his best performances ever at the center. But the movie doesn’t work without Da’Vine Joy Randolph, someone that I think will catch fire throughout this lengthy award season. Plus, the story of a first-time nominee and first-time winner is always a delightful journey to watch.

A top-caliber performance along with her bubbly personality and willingness to make her way through the awards circuit could see her becoming the overall favorite in the category quickly. She’s already mine.

Full Nomination Predictions:

  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph — The Holdovers
  • Emily Blunt — Oppenheimer
  • Danielle Brooks — The Color Purple
  • Jodie Foster — Nyad
  • Viola Davis — Air

Best Actor — Cillian Murphy in ‘Oppenheimer’

Cillian Murphy as holding a pipe as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer I Agents of Fandom
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

If you look up the definition of “a lock to win” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Cillian Murphy from Oppenheimer. Now, locks in the past have proven to be elusive the closer the Academy Awards get, but not this year. Not with Cillian Murphy. One of the biggest and best movies of the year doesn’t operate without his powerhouse of a performance. The actor, who has never been nominated for an Oscar before, is long overdue for some recognition for his successful career, and with this movie helming the possibilities of an awards sweep, this is the time to make it happen.

Full Nominations List:

  • Cillian Murphy — Oppenheimer
  • Leonardo DiCaprio — Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Bradley Cooper — Maestro
  • Andrew Scott — All of Us Strangers
  • Jeffrey Wright — American Fiction

Best Actress — Lily Gladstone in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

Lily Gladstone holding a fan in Killers of the Flower Mon | Agents of Fandom
Lily Gladstone steals the show with a packed cast in Killers of the Flower Moon. Image Credit: Apple Original Films.

This category might prove to be difficult to pick correctly the further into awards season we get with such stalwarts for the choosing; Emma Stone delivering an indelible performance in Poor Things, Margot Robbie truly embodying a generation in Barbie, and even Sandra Hüller offering a nuanced and technical showing in Anatomy of a Fall. My prediction is that all of those won’t be enough to dethrone the queen that is Lily Gladstone and her performance in Killers of the Flower Moon — one of the most important pieces of cinema in the last 10 years.

She provides facial expressions, body language, and pure emotion that many actors strive their entire careers to be able to produce. The conversation around the Martin Scorsese masterpiece that is Killers of the Flower Moon overall during the awards season will be interesting but this feels like the big above-the-line award it’ll be taking home at the end of the night.

Full Nominations List:

  • Lily Gladstone — Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Emma Stone — Poor Things
  • Sandra HüllerAnatomy of a Fall
  • Margot Robbie — Barbie
  • Carey Mulligan — Maestro

Best Picture — ‘Oppenheimer’

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer. Image Credit: Universal Pictures. | Agents of Fandom | Oppenheimer first reactions
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

In a year with some truly astounding pieces of cinema, it still feels uncontroversial to state that Oppenheimer is the best film of the year. Currently nearing $1 Billion (with a “B”) at the box office, Oppenheimer took the world by storm upon its release and its energy has not let up. It is still being talked about as a clear front-runner for Best Picture and as a movie that will be competing for nomination records and a full Oscars winning sweep.

In this thinking, I’m one of the many who agree. It’s got all the components — Nolan finally delivering his magnum opus, a superstar cast that works in unison to amount to more than the sum of its parts, and the fact that it’s a biopic! Hollywood loves their biopics. Sure, Killers of the Flower Moon or Poor Things might compete a little here or there over the next five months, but when it’s all said and done, Oppenheimer will be named the Academy Award winner for Best Picture. It’s that simple.

Full Nominations List:

  • Oppenheimer
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Poor Things
  • Barbie
  • The Holdovers
  • Maestro
  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • The Zone of Interest
  • The Color Purple
  • Past Lives

At the end of the day, it’s still far too early to place a surefire bet on a winner in any category (except Cillian Murphy, I’m telling you…) but it’s definitely going to be a firecracker of an awards season! Who can hold onto their momentum? What underdogs will gain traction? Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for full coverage during the awards season.

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