2024 Oscar Predictions By MoCo Movie Critic Andrew Italia


Andrew Italia is a Quince Orchard High School graduate and MoCo resident. When he was in college at the University of Maryland, he was the movie critic for The Maryland Diamondback. During his time as the movie critic, he began making Oscar predictions for all 24 categories. His all-time record is 21 out of 24, but he usually falls in the 18-20 range. Last Week we shared his Top 12 movie list for 2023. For more movies on Twitter/X, see @italia_budo

Twenty-six years ago, pre-slap Will Smith topped the Billboard 100, pre-impeachment Bill Clinton denied having sexual relations with “that woman,” and pre-retirement Michael Jordan and Jerry Seinfeld tapped to their respective last dances.  90 million souls tuned in to watch the Broncos beat the Packers 31 – 24 in Super Bowl XXXII, and 57 million saw James Cameron ‘King of the World’ the shit out of the 71st Oscar telecast, an all time record.  A shade over a quarter century later, the Super Bowl’s audience has swollen to 123.7 million (the largest in television history period).  The Oscars’ audience…has not.  In fact, last year’s 18.3 million was a near nadir of this once proud institution, which finds one of its feet on oblivion and the other on a banana peel.

Really, what did the Super Bowl have this year that the Oscars doesn’t, anyways? 

…Usher?

 

Key:

Will Win: Bet your first born on it (…but only if you’re at least semi-fond of your second born…)

Alternate: The most likely upset

Should Win: Who wins in Voltaire’s “best of all possible worlds”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Who the Academy snubbed entirely

 

BEST PICTURE:

Will Win: Oppenheimer

Alternate: Poor Things

Should Win:  Oppenheimer

Should’ve been Nominated: The Killer

Whether in life, a wicked cross-examination, or calculating Oscar odds, success often depends upon asking the right question.  This year that question isn’t whether Oppenheimer will win this Oscar.  It’s how many other Oscars will it win?  If it lands eight, it will emerge the biggest winner since Slumdog Millionaire crossed the stage.  If it nabs nine, it will boast the most in two decades.  While its total tally remains TBD, the older brother of the Barbenheimer box office behemoth is near certain to win the crown jewel, having already collected a Golden Globe, a BFCA, three SAGs, a PGA, a DGA, a CAS, an ASC, a MPSE, and an ACE.

Could Poor Things, or even the late surging Zone of Interest, pull off a Crash sized upset?

Sure, it’s possible.

In the same way that the Commanders winning the Superbowl is possible.

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

Will Win: Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer

Alternate: Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon 

Should Win: Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer

Should’ve been Nominated: Greta Gerwig for Barbie

Cinematic daimyo Christopher Nolan constantly transforms chicken shit into chicken soup, turning almost any project he touches to pure platinum.  The exclusion of his masterpiece The Dark Knight from the 2008 winner’s circle almost single handedly changed the entire show.  So it’s with no shortage of kismet nor karma that he’ll finally take his bow there.  Honorable mention to Marty for becoming the most nominated living director (this being his tenth).

 

BEST ACTOR:

Will Win:  Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Alternate: Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers

Should Win:  Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers

Should’ve Been Nominated: Adam Driver in Ferrari OR Jamie Foxx in The Burial

Cinephiles would be hard pressed to find two more worthy heavyweights vying for the title.  With the SAG, BAFTA, and momentum at his back, it’s Murphy’s to lose.  If he can hold fast, Oppenheimer will be the first to win Picture, Actor, and Supporting Actor since the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Nuclear pun fully intended.

 

BEST ACTRESS:

Will Win:  Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Alternate: Emma Stone in Poor Things

Should Win:  Sandra Huller in Anatomy of a Fall

Should’ve Been Nominated: Jennifer Lawrence in No Hard Feelings

The closest acting race of the night is a dead heat in its final sprint.  Stone is a past winner astride a career Pegasus (for both Poor Things and Showtime’s sublime Curse) with the most eccentric performance of the year.  The yin to her yang is Gladstone, who brought a deeply introverted take to the screen, and whose win will be a first for her and for any Native woman.  The beneficiary of a split vote could be Annette Benning, whose dream deferred could come true for playing the record smashing, 64-year-old swimmer Nyad (…how’s that for meta?)

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Will Win: Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer

Alternate: Ryan Gosling in Barbie

Should Win: Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer

Should’ve been Nominated: Kiefer Sutherland in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

Tony Stark will go from iron to Oscar gold.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Will Win: Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers

Alternate: Emily Blunt in Oppenheimer

Should Win: Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers

Should’ve Been Nominated: Viola Davis in Air

Randolph is just the fourth supporting actress to sweep the four biggest critical awards from the NBR, LAFCA, NYFCCA, and NSFC.  100% of the other three went on to win the Oscar.

 

BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED):

Will Win: American Fiction

Alternate: Oppenheimer

Should Win: Barbie

Should’ve been Nominated: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Another nail biter with no guidance from the WGA this year.  While Oppenheimer could easily win for so audaciously adapting American Prometheus, no single writer has won for Picture, Director, and Screenplay since James L. Brooks did for Terms of Endearment nearly two score years ago.  If the superb and USC Scripter-winning American Fiction is going to get any glory, this is the room where it will happen.

 

BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL): 

Will Win: Anatomy of a Fall

Alternate: The Holdovers

Should Win: Anatomy of a Fall

Should’ve been Nominated: Air

Why France didn’t submit Anatomy of a Fall as its entry for International Film is beyond me.  So its win here will have to suffice (…especially since ‘Best Use of a Remix of “P.I.M.P.” by 50 Cent” doesn’t carry it’s own award…at least not yet…)

 

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE:

Will Win: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

Alternate: The Boy and the Heron

Should Win: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Should’ve been Nominated: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Instead of Mutant Mayhem, we get…Robot Dreams?  Robot Fucking Dreams?!  …Splinter wept.

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM:

Will Win: The Zone of Interest (UK)

Alternate: Society of Snow (Spain)

Should Win: The Zone of Interest (UK)

Should’ve been Nominated: Anatomy of a Fall (France)

Some races will be close on Sunday.  Others will not.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

Will Win: 20 Days in Mariupol

Alternate: Four Daughters

Should Win: 20 Days in Mariupol

Should’ve been Nominated: The Deepest Breath

Mariupol will make for a timely and poignant winner.

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Will Win: Godzilla Minus One

Alternate: The Creator

Should Win: Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning

Should’ve been Nominated: Oppenheimer

VES winner The Creator is certainly worthy.  However, only four of the last ten such winners took the Oscar.  The more likely winner is our favorite septuagenarian lizard whose 610 effects shots cost a mere $15 million, practically the catering budget of its mammoth MCU cousins.  It’s also mind blowing that this is Mission Impossible‘s first nomination in almost 30 years. 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

Will Win: “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie

Alternate: “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie

Should Win: “What Was I Made For” from Barbie

Should’ve been Nominated: “Peaches” from The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Gosling will reportedly take to the stage to perform before losing to the other song from his own film.  But how much cooler would it be to see Jack Black belt out the mind numbing mantra from Super Mario Bros. (…by far the pick of my progeny)?

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Will Win: Oppenheimer by Ludwig Goransson

Alternate: Killers of the Flower Moon by Robbie Robertson

Should Win: Oppenheimer by Ludwig Goransson

Should’ve been Nominated: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

Johnny Williams gets his 54th nod (and extends his run as the most nominated person alive).  The late and great Robertson could pull off a nostalgia win for his final work.  Though I think it’ll be too difficult to deny Goransson for his transgressive and transfixing ode to J. Robert.

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Will Win: Oppenheimer

Alternate: Poor Things

Should Win: Oppenheimer

Should’ve been Nominated: Saltburn

As Sure as the 1993 deodorant jingle.

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

Will Win: Poor Things

Alternate: Barbie

Should Win: Poor Things

Should’ve been Nominated: John Wick: Chapter 4

While an Oppenheimer tsunami could wash up on this white pebble beach, I think it’s likely down to Poor Things and Barbie, with a slight advantage to the former.  Underline and bold ‘slight.’

 

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING:

Will Win: Maestro

Alternate: Poor Things

Should Win: Poor Things

Should’ve been Nominated: Priscilla

Maestro will finally win something.  Which is…fine.  I guess.  Just fine.  No, really.  Fine.

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Will Win: Barbie

Alternate: Poor Things

Should Win: Barbie

Should’ve been Nominated: A Haunting in Venice

If I was a betting man, I’d bet Barbie

 

BEST FILM EDITING:

Will Win: Oppenheimer

Alternate: Anatomy of a Fall

Should Win: Oppenheimer

Should’ve been Nominated: No One Will Save You

Oppenheimer won the ACE, and I see no compelling reason why it won’t win the Oscar too.

 

BEST SOUND:

Will Win:  Oppenheimer

Alternate: The Zone of Interest

Should Win: The Zone of Interest

Should’ve Been Nominated: Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

Perhaps the hardest call of the night.  In 100 tosses, the coin likely comes up Oppenheimer 51 times given its pedigree, CAS and MPSE wins, and being the “loudest” of the nominees (…yes, that’s the type of tip top AF analysis you can expect here folks).  Though dead set on its six is Zone, whose ingenuity in this medium tells the story of the other side of Auschwitz’s wall in a nauseating, haunting, and unshakable fashion.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

Will Win: The ABCs of Book Banning

Alternate: The Last Repair Shop

 

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED):

Will Win: Letter to a Pig

Alternate: WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko

 

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION):

Will Win: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Alternate: Red, White and Blue

 

Your Office Pool Approved Shortlist:

 

Best Picture: Oppenheimer

Best Director: Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer

Best Actor: Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Best Actress: Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Supporting Actor: Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers

Best Screenplay (Adapted): American Fiction

Best Screenplay (Original): Anatomy of a Fall

Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Across from the Spider-Verse

Best International Film: The Zone of Interest (UK)

Best Documentary Feature: 20 Days in Mariupol

Best Visual Effects:  Godzilla Minus One

Best Song: “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie

Best Score: Oppenheimer by Ludwig Goransson

Best Cinematography: Oppenheimer

Best Production Design: Poor Things

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Maestro

Best Costume Design: Barbie

Best Film Editing: Oppenheimer

Best Sound: Oppenheimer

Best Short Documentary: The ABCs of Book Banning

Best Short Film (Animated): Letter to a Pig

Best Short Film (Live Action): The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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