HomeEntertainment2024 Oscar Nominations: ‘Oppenheimer’ Leads the Way With 13 Nominations

2024 Oscar Nominations: ‘Oppenheimer’ Leads the Way With 13 Nominations

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Though “Oppenheimer” made an explosive showing when the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, plenty of other would-be contenders failed to launch. As your Projectionist, here’s my analysis of the morning’s biggest surprises and omissions.

With her billion-dollar blockbuster, “Barbie,” Greta Gerwig set a Hollywood record for the highest-grossing movie ever directed by a woman. Still, even that major milestone wasn’t enough to earn her a spot in the Oscars’ best director lineup: Though “Barbie” managed eight nominations, including best picture, Gerwig was snubbed by the directors branch that nominated her six years ago for “Lady Bird.” It was a mixed showing overall for the hit comedy, which missed some other hoped-for nominations for cinematography, editing and best actress for Margot Robbie. But it did at least pull off a dark-horse supporting actress nod for America Ferrera alongside an expected supporting-actor nomination for Ryan Gosling.

An otherwise strong showing for female filmmakers.

For the first time in Oscar history, three of the best-picture nominees were directed by women: “Barbie,” Celine Song’s “Past Lives” and Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.” Still, that landmark moment could have been lost in the furor if the directors branch had put forth a lineup made up entirely of men, as many pundits feared it might. Though Gerwig and Song were both snubbed for best director, at least the category found room for Triet, who’d previously won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for her twisty legal drama.

Young male actors still can’t break through.

The academy has never had a problem nominating young actresses: In fact, seven of the 10 actresses recognized this year are 40 or under. That same interest in ingénues does not apply to the male categories, however. Despite worthy contenders in the mix like Charles Melton (“May December”) and Dominic Sessa (“The Holdovers”), all 10 of the actors nominated were over 40, further proof that the Oscars prefer their men more grizzled if they’re meant to be taken seriously.

Nobody pulled a Riseborough.

Last year, the actress Andrea Riseborough employed a new kind of Oscar bid: Instead of waging a costly, monthslong awards campaign for her performance in the microbudget indie “To Leslie,” her team waited until the weeklong Oscar-voting window opened, then leveraged a group of famous friends that included Edward Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Paulson to tout the movie en masse on social media. It worked, earning Riseborough a surprise best actress nomination, and though she sought to pay it forward last week by throwing her muscle behind Ava DuVernay’s underseen “Origin,” the film was snubbed by the academy, while all 20 acting slots went to performers who had campaigned the old-fashioned way.

Romance was in the air.

Hey, was this Oscar-nomination morning or Valentine’s Day? At least six couples scored his-and-hers nominations today, including the “Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan and his producer wife, Emma Thomas; the “Anatomy of a Fall” director Justine Triet and her partner and co-writer, Arthur Harari; the “May December” co-writers Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik; and Jared and Jerusha Hess, the directors of the animated short “Ninety-Five Senses.” “Barbie” was responsible for the other two pairs of lovebirds, with Gerwig and her husband, Noah Baumbach, nominated in the adapted-screenplay category and Margot Robbie and her husband, Tom Ackerley, earning nominations as the film’s producers.

Leonardo DiCaprio gets snubbed

As the nominations were read, “Killers of the Flower Moon” waxed and waned: Martin Scorsese’s period drama earned key nods for picture, director, actress (Lily Gladstone) and supporting actor (Robert De Niro), but missed an expected nomination for adapted screenplay and extended a continuing snub of lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio that began with the Screen Actors Guild. Still, the film did make Oscar history in several categories, as Gladstone became the first Native American nominated for best actress and Scorsese’s 10th directing nomination helped him pull ahead of Steven Spielberg as the most-nominated living director of all time.

Wes Anderson in, Pedro Almodóvar out.

Members of the short-film branch can often be hostile to directors they perceive as dilettantes, doling out snubs in recent years to big names like Taylor Swift (for “All Too Well: The Short Film”) and Pedro Almodóvar (for his Tilda Swinton short “The Human Voice”) in favor of lesser-known filmmakers struggling to break through. This year, voters from other branches were allowed to volunteer their services to nominate films for best live-action short, and this expanded group allowed in Wes Anderson, whose miniature “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” bowed on Netflix in the fall. Almodóvar was not so lucky, snubbed once again for his western “Strange Way of Life,” starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke.

A last dance for ‘Barbie.’

“Barbie” might have scored one more nomination if it weren’t for a rule change introduced in 2008 that forbade any film from placing more than two nominees in the original-song category. Though three of the tunes from “Barbie” qualified for the original-song shortlist announced in December — Dua Lipa’s disco-infused “Dance the Night,” the Ryan Gosling-sung “I’m Just Ken” and Billie Eilish’s ballad “What Was I Made For?” — only the latter two made it in. At least Lipa can console herself with the tune’s recent Grammy nomination for song of the year.

Godzilla stomps into visual effects

The visual-effects category is typically dominated by mega-budget Hollywood productions, but the hit Japanese import “Godzilla Minus One” made it into the race this year alongside big-studio fare like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” and “Napoleon.” Not bad for a foreign-language film with a budget rumored to be under $15 million. When Godzilla roars, even the academy has to listen.



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