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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

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Sadie Bodzin
Sadie Bodzin
Culture Co-Editor

Molly’s Oscars Predictions

With the 96th Academy Awards on March 10th soon approaching, and many movie fans starting their ballots, here are a few predictions for who will be taking home the awards at the end of the night
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Wisdom Konu

The 96th Academy Awards, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will take place on March 10, 2024. With nominees ranging from Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer to Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, here are a few predictions for this year’s Oscars.

The nominees for best director are: Johnathan Glazer for The Zone of Interest, Yorgos Lanthimos for Poor Things, Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer, Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon and Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall.

The competition for best director this year is quite tough, due to many of the top movies last year are in one category. Every director in this section is extremely talented, all putting out critically acclaimed movies this year. But my first prediction for the 96th Academy Awards is that the Oscar for Best Director will go to Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer, which has already been dominating the awards season with 8 Golden Globes and 13 Critics Choice Awards. But with awards season and nominations, controversy appears. With no nomination for Barbie director, Greta Gerwig, fans of the movie were upset because of how the insane box office release that is Barbie missed out on 2 major nominations: Best Director for Greta Gerwig and Best Actress for lead Margot Robbie. But the Academy has a history of making interesting nominee decisions so it’s not entirely surprising.

The nominees for Best Original Song are “It Never Went Away” from American Symphony, “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie, “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie, “The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot and “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon.

For the Best Original Song category, there are 2 nominations for Barbie, which is no shocker. When picking the winner for this category, I thought about the song that adds the most to the scene and improves it. So my choice for Best Original Song is “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie. The song is truly haunting and chilling with the lyrics and sound matching the most emotional scene in the film. As a montage of videos the cast of  Barbie as young children plays, Billie Eilish’s voice cuts through, creating the perfect atmosphere for the scene. 

The nominees for Best Animated Picture are The Boy and the Heron, Elemental, Nimona, Robot Dreams and Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse.

In my opinion, the winner for this category is going to be either The Boy and the Heron or Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse. The Boy and the Heron is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, known for his other iconic animated films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and Spirited Away. Miyazaki’s cinematic style is very recognizable with the animation being very impressive and beautiful. The story follows a young boy dealing with the grief from the loss of his mother, and exploring a different fantastical world, where he tries to solve his problems. The movie’s emotional themes, fun plot, and beautiful animation secure its rightful place as a nominee. Up against it is the second animated Spiderman film, following the main character Miles Morales as he navigates life as Spiderman. The animation is extremely stylized as well as impressive. The competition will be tight but with The Boy and the Heron taking home the Golden Globe, it leads me to believe that it will win at the Oscars as well.

The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are Sterling K. Brown in American Fiction, Robert De Niro in Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer, Ryan Gosling in Barbie and Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things.

The Best Supporting Actor category is also difficult to choose a winner for. Sterling K. Brown’s portrayal in American Fiction of a Black man trying to find himself, navigating grief while being gay in a family where it isn’t fully accepted is beautiful and the humor he works into that character is also perfect. In Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert De Niro plays a greedy, manipulative villain, who you might not expect to be the antagonist at the start. He manipulates the other characters and with his murderous actions, they further the plot of the film. De Niro is incredible in this movie which is one of films he has worked with director Martin Scorsese on, and his performance is definitely Oscar-worthy, but so are all of the other actors in this category. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Lewis Strauss, in Oppenheimer, also playing an antagonist. Throughout the movie, it’s hard to tell whose side you are meant to be on, and this is shown greatly through his character and his acting. After taking home the Golden Globe, it’s hard to tell if he will do the same with an Oscar because it’s such a talented category.  Ryan Gosling’s performance in Barbie seems to overtake that of any other character in the film, and Mark Ruffalo’s performance in Poor Things was also incredibly impressive, which is why I won’t be surprised whoever wins this award. But someone has to, so my top prediction is Robert Downey Jr, in Oppenheimer.

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are Emily Blunt in Oppenheimer, Danielle Brooks in The Color Purple, America Ferrera in Barbie, Jodie Foster in Nyad and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers.

This category seems to be the opposite of best supporting actor, with only one performance that seems to stand out. Emily Blunt in Oppenheimer was disappointing. After seeing her nominations, and many people raving about the movie, I was expecting more from her. She’s an incredible actress but I felt unimpressed with this specific performance. While Barbie was incredibly inspiring and America Ferrera’s monologue about being a woman was incredible, nothing else in her performance seemed Oscar-worthy to me. After seeing Julianne Moore in May December, I was rooting for her to receive a nomination but she seemed to be beat by many subpar performances. The one that stands out to me the most is Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers. The Holdovers was my favorite film released this year, and many of it stems from Randolph’s performance. Her character was emotional and incredibly well done, making it obvious for who this award should go to.

The nominees for Best Actor are Bradley Cooper in Maestro, Colman Domingo in Rustin, Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers, Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer and Jeffery Wright in American Fiction. 

My top two guesses for the winner in this category are Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer and Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers. Both incredible performances and the award will likely go to Cillian Murphy, who has been sweeping the award shows for his role in Oppenheimer

The nominees for Best Actress are Annette Bening in Nyad, Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon, Sandra Hüller in Anatomy of a Fall, Carey Mulligan in Maestro and Emma Stone in Poor Things

Another tough category. I would not be surprised if Emma Stone or Lily Gladstone took home the award. The range of Stone’s performance is incredibly impressive, going from a woman with the brain of a toddler to a feminist woman in the span of 2 and a half hours. But Lily Gladstone’s performance had emotion and it’s clear that she’s an incredible actress. Her well deserved win would be the first in the category for Native American women and would make history with her show stopping performance.

The nominees for Best Picture are American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things and The Zone of Interest. 

Every single movie in this category deserves to be nominated for this award. Each film was well made, well written, and well executed. American Fiction has one of the best adapted screenplays, and many incredible performances. Jeffery Wright and Sterling K. Brown stand out specifically. 

Anatomy of a Fall is a courtroom drama that stands out from the rest in the category. Sandra Hüller is especially incredible as the protagonist in this film. 

Barbie was insanely popular this year, with incredible writing by duo Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. A film about women everywhere and what it’s like to be a woman in this modern age. Although she wasn’t nominated, Margot Robbie killed her role, giving a tear-jerking performance.

Killers of the Flower Moon was also incredible. Martin Scorsese absolutely deserves the praise he gets as a director, and this movie only furthers it. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an absolutely vile and disgusting man in this movie in a good way. I loved this movie, but it might have been a bit too long, and the ending felt a bit rushed. Still a great film.

Past Lives and it’s story is so moving and emotional, with 3 amazing performances. Greta Lee as the girl who moved away, Teo Yoo as the boy who didn’t move on, and John Magaro as her new husband. All three absolutely embodied their roles and director Celine Song’s writing really helped them do that.

Poor Things was strange, which can easily be expected from a Yorgos Lanthimos film, but it had an interesting plot, great set design, and incredible acting from a lot of the cast. But again, it was very weird and definitely might have put a few Academy voters off of it for that reason.

With so many incredible movies to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one but there has to be a winner. I predict that this award is going to go to Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Due to the fact that it was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of last year, it makes it an overall easy choice. The cinematography, sound, writing, and acting are all components that bring it all together to make it win the most coveted award of the night, Best Picture.

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Molly Savage, Social Media Co-Editor and Assistant Yearbook Editor
bring back the dab
Wisdom Konu, Executive Editor and Culture Co-Editor
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