The two vastly different films have been yoked together as “Barbenheimer” since their simultaneous release last summer, and now look set to go head-to-head for some of the biggest prizes at the 96th Academy Awards on March 10.
“Oppenheimer” — Christopher Nolan‘s masterly portrait of the father of the atomic bomb — is widely expected to feature heavily with nods for best picture, director, actor (Cillian Murphy) and supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr), amongst others.
Greta Gerwig’s razor-sharp “Barbie” should also make the best picture list, while Margot Robbie appears to be in position to make the best actress slate.
The film should also get a mention for best adapted screenplay — a prize that usually goes to a script that started life as a book, rather than one that started life as a plastic doll — as well as in a suite of music and technical categories.
“Killers of the Flower Moon,” Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour true crime opus on murders ripping through the oil-rich Osage community in early 20th century Oklahoma, should also fare well.
While audiences have been divided, critics have lapped up the artistry, so industry watchers expect the film to score nods for best picture and director, as well as in some technical categories.
Its three stars are also likely to get a mention — Lily Gladstone is a favorite for best actress, Robert De Niro is expected to earn a nomination for supporting actor and Leonardo DiCaprio is in the running for best actor.
– Record year for women directors? –
Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” about a teacher, a cook and a student holed up in a boarding school over the festive season, is being warmly talked up as a probable best picture nominee.
It should also garner acting nods for Paul Giamatti and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who have already scooped up several awards this season.
French sleeper “Anatomy of a Fall” should get a few mentions, including for best picture, best actress, as well as a writing nomination. That’s despite not being France’s official entry in the international film category, a decision that has caused a little hand-wringing in Paris.
Bradley Cooper — who wrote, directed, and starred in the Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro” — is in line to be the single individual with the most nominations, including one for best picture as a producer.
The best picture race looks set to be rounded out by: “American Fiction,” a deft satire on race, publishing and Hollywood; “Past Lives” (about love, friendship and how things change but stay the same); “Poor Things,” a female-focused take on the Frankenstein myth; and bleak Nazi drama “The Zone of Interest.”
That list would include three movies helmed by women — “Anatomy,” “Barbie” and “Past Lives” — for the first time in more than nine decades of Academy Awards.
Only 19 films by female directors have ever been nominated for best picture.
“It could be the biggest year ever for women, in terms of the best picture race,” Pete Hammond, columnist for industry site Deadline, told AFP.
Actors Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid will host the nominations announcement from a still-dark Los Angeles at 5:30 am (1330 GMT) Tuesday.