The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences unveiled the highly-anticipated nominations for the 96th Academy Awards on Tuesday, presenting a vibrant spectrum of films and performances that captured audiences’ attention over the past year. At the forefront is “Oppenheimer,” securing an impressive 13 nominations. The film has earned acclaim in key categories, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr., and Best Supporting Actress for Emily Blunt. Following closely are “Poor Things” and “Killers of the Flower Moon,” garnering 11 and 10 nominations, respectively.
Barbie received a somewhat disappointing 8 nominations, while four smaller films that gained momentum in recent weeks—American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers, and The Zone of Interest—each secured 5 nominations. These films made a noteworthy impact in major categories, showcasing their strength and recognition in the competitive awards landscape.
Despite the celebratory atmosphere, there were notable snubs that raised eyebrows among industry observers. Greta Gerwig, having achieved the remarkable feat of being the first woman to direct three consecutive Best Picture nominees, including Barbie, was surprisingly overlooked for a Best Director nomination. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie, who played the lead in Barbie, found herself without a Best Actress nomination but did secure acknowledgment with a Best Picture nod as a producer.
Leo’s exclusion from the Best Actor category appeared inevitable in the wake of recent weeks where he neither clinched any awards nor received a SAG Award nomination. Despite the Academy’s enduring fondness for him, a nomination wasn’t in the cards. Now, he’ll have to find satisfaction in cheering on Lily Gladstone as the sole contender for a win in Killers of the Flower Moon.
Past Lives actress Greta Lee, widely praised for her performance, had been considered a formidable contender for the Oscars. However, her disappointment was palpable as she was left out of the Best Actress category. Despite early optimism and acknowledgment from industry awards, the Academy ultimately failed to recognize her exceptional performance.
In a well-deserved turn of events, Ferrera has finally been acknowledged with a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in Barbie. While her exceptional speech may be highlighted, it’s important to recognize Ferrera’s ability to effectively portray every aspect of her character, from the comedic introduction as the stereotypical Barbie to the genuine wonder she expresses upon entering Barbieland. This recognition is bittersweet, especially in the context of more glaring snubs.
Anatomy of a Fall, the recipient of the Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, is making a strong bid for recognition in five distinct categories at the 96th Oscars. The French courtroom drama has successfully secured a place in the highly coveted Best Picture category. Sandra Hüller, the film’s lead actress (who also features in another Best Picture nominee, The Zone of Interest), has been recognized with a nomination for Best Actress. Furthermore, director and co-writer Justine Triet has earned nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, while the film itself is competing for the Best Editing award.