Oscars 2024 predictions: Will Barbie, Oppenheimer or Killers of the Flower Moon scoop Best Picture?

The Oscars 2024 predictions are in

Oscars 2024 predictions: Barbie film poster
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Oscars 2024 predictions are well underway, with the official nominees list coming this January. 2023 was the year of Barbenheimer, with the two opposing giants—Greta Gerwig's Barbie Wonderland and the darker, epic Oppenheimer—causing a cultural phenomenon and record-breaking viewing stats. But there are some other weighty predictions for Best Picture, with Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon the current favourite. Poor Things is also quietly becoming a stealthy contender, tipped as a dark horse by critics for Best Picture and Best Actress for Emma Stone at the awards. 

At the 2023 Oscars, Everything Everywhere All at Once scooped Best Picture as well as six other prestigious accolades including Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh. But it's looking less likely that one film could dominate as much this year, with other big contenders like Bradley Cooper's Maestro, indie favourite Past Lives and dark comedy American Fiction all tipped for Oscars success. 

After scouring the Oscars 2024 predictions lists from film critics and industry experts, these are the ones to watch for Best Picture in the Oscars race this year, as well as which actors are set to make the nominations list come January 2024. 

When are the official Oscars nominations announced? 

The Oscar nomination period will run in January 2024 from 11th-16th, with the official nominees named on 23rd Jan. The awards ceremony itself will be held on Sunday 10th March 2024, where the full list of winners will be announced at the usual glittering ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. 

Oscars 2024 predictions for Best Picture

The Oscars countdown traditionally begins after the festive season, but there are already predictions on who will come out on top next year. These 2024 Oscars Best Picture predictions are in no particular order. 

1. Killers of the Flower Moon

Oscars predictions 2024: Killers of the Flower Moon

(Image credit: AppleTV+)

If there's one genre the Academy loves, it's a Western, with No Country For Old Men, The Reverent and, most recently in 2021, The Power of the Dog, just a few iterations on the genre that have scooped up at least one award. Killers of the Flower Moon is the latest offering from Martin Scorsese as director (and he also co-wrote the script) and examines America's relationship with Indigenous peoples through the lens of a Western drama. 

Leonardo DiCaprio stars and has been praised for his emotional portrayal of Ernest Burkhart, but it's Lily Gladstone who plays Ernest's wife Mollie, an Osage woman living in 1920s Oklahoma during the 'Reign of Terror' - a string of brutal murders in Osage County - who's generating some serious Oscars buzz. Scorsese says of casting Lily (via Variety) after watching her in Certain Women: "Lily’s character was quiet, she spoke very little, but she commanded the screen with her presence, with every move, every gesture. There are very few actors around who know how to hold the screen like that, and it was perfect for the character of Mollie."

2. Barbie

Oscars predictions 2024: Barbie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The buzz around the Barbie movie was unlike anything we've ever encountered before—a marketing triumph as much as it is an accomplished film. With Barbiecore now a fully bonafide trend and a Barbie sequel possibly on the way, it's safe to say the film has made its mark...but will it scoop up an Academy Award? Barbie is generally getting included in the round-ups for potential winners of Best Picture, but it's not seeing quite the same Oscars buzz as historical epics like Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon. Having said this, things look promising for Best Original Song and critics are calling Ryan Gosling a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor. We'd be surprised to see Greta and co walk home empty-handed. 

3. Oppenheimer 

Oscars predictions 2024: Oppenheimer

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It's clear that Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer is a big contender; a dark and layered masterpiece that represents one of the most significant moments in the director's career so far. A film of epic proportions, the biopic is classic Oscars material, not to mention boasting some stand-out performances from Cillian Murphy, Robert Downy Jr., Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh. Nolan's first Oscar is seen as widely overdue by many in the industry, making him a strong choice for Best Director—but whether the film will go the distance for Best Picture remains yet to be seen. Oppenheimer is a moral tale at its core, with Nolan telling the crowd after a screening of the film: “We have to hold people accountable for what they do with the tools that they have. This is a movie about consequences.”

4. Poor Things

Oscars predictions 2024: Poor Things

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Anyone who's seen the trailer for Poor Things knows it looks a little... different. But having said that, it would seem that this surreal fantasy/comedy/historical hybrid is a welcome change if the early reviews are anything to go by—in particular, looking at the reception of Emma Stone's leading performance. Deemed by Oli Welsh for Polygon as 'perhaps the most original and charismatic lead character in any movie from 2023', Emma's portrayal as the Frankenstien-esque reanimated corpse Bella Baxter has captured the attention of critics across the globe, making her a strong contender for Best Actress at the awards. 

5. May December

Oscars 2024 predictions: May December

(Image credit: Netflix)

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore appearing in a movie together is enough to get our attention, but throw in the gripping subject matter of May December and it's firmly on the must-watch list. The plot (which is loosely based on the real-life relationship of Mary Kay Letourneau and her former, student Vili Fualaau) follows the story of actress Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman), who is set to portray Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) in an upcoming film. Gracie became a notorious figure, hounded by the tabloid press after it emerged she was having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy, whom she later married and started a family with. Uncomfortable stuff. 

6. Past Lives 

Oscars nominations 2024: Past Lives

(Image credit: A24)

Celine Song's feature debut Past Lives is a thoughtful and emotive look at a romance that spans decades. The script is realistic, funny and at times very moving—only enhanced by its hazy soundtrack and romantic cinematography. Playwright Song fuelled the screenplay with her experiences as a Korean living in New York, exploring cultural themes as well as notions of nostalgia and longing. Writer and director Song said of creating the lead character of Nora (via an interview with El Pais): "[With Nora] I could dive into the nostalgia of a future and a relationship that could have happened but didn’t.” She continued to explain: “What I know about is life’s connections, illustrating what happens emotionally on a day-to-day basis, when sometimes you trace relationships that you don’t even know what to call." 

The film had a strong debut at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and has kept its momentum going, with film critics widely including it as the indie option to watch in predicted Best Picture round-ups.

7. Maestro

Oscars predictions 2024: Maestro

(Image credit: Netflix)

We're in familiar waters with Bradley Cooper's Maestro, a Leonard Bernstein biopic that showcases both Bradley and co-star Carey Mulligan at their best. If it doesn't scoop up the Best Picture prize, critics are strongly predicting some potential wins in the acting categories, for both Bradley and Carey in their leading roles. Rather than being a biopic that follows the cradle-to-grave format, Meastro centres around Bernstein’s great love; his marriage to Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). Some critics are predicting double-digit nominations for this classic Hollywood film. 

8. American Fiction

Oscars predictions 2024: American Fiction

(Image credit: MGM Studios)

Cord Jefferson’s satire about how the US media exploits Black people delivers a clear message on race, but it's also being deemed by critics as one of the funniest movies of 2023 and a dark horse contender for Best Picture. Based on a 2001 novel, Erasure by Percival Everett, the film follows a frustrated novelist who's fed up with an industry that relies on offensive tropes and decides to use a pen name to reveal some home truths about the industry. American Fiction could be a dark horse when it comes to the 2024 Oscars predictions, with one Oscars voter telling Variety: “It’s such a discovery. That's the type of movie that wins the big one. I wanted to laugh and cry—I did both."

Other frontrunners include:

  • The Holdovers
  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • The Zone of Interest
  • Saltburn
  • The Colour Purple
  • All Of Us Strangers
  • The Iron Claw 

Oscars 2024 predictions for Best Actress

It's been a big year for Hollywood actresses, with some of the industry's already acclaimed stars cementing their reputations with career-defining roles. From Margot Robbie's iconic portrayal of Barbie to a completely new direction for Emma Stone in Poor Things, these knockout performances have left us in awe (at least, with the movies that have already been released). These 2024 Oscars Best Actress predictions are in no particular order.

  • Margot Robbie for Barbie
  • Emma Stone for Poor Things
  • Natalie Portman for May December
  • Carey Mulligan for Maestro
  • Sandra Hüller for Anatomy of a Fall
  • Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Greta Lee for Past Lives

Oscars 2024 predictions for Best Actor

There are some familiar faces in the line-up for Best Actor, with Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cillian Murphey all starring in incredible roles this year. There are a few new actors, however, who could also be in with a shot, such as Barry Keoghan who stole the show in Saltburn. These 2024 Oscars Best Actor predictions are in no particular order.

  • Bradley Cooper for Maestro
  • Leonardo DiCaprio for Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers
  • Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction
  • Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer
  • Andrew Scott for All Of Us Strangers
  • Barry Keoghan for Saltburn
  • Colman Domingo for Rustin

Excited? Same.

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.

She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.