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Oscar 2024 Predictions: The Year Streaming Conquered The Academy

Double act: Portman studies Moore's every move in "May December" / Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Double act: Portman studies Moore's every move in "May December" / Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Brace for the 2024 Oscar race. Like no year before, streaming companies have the largest number of films with nomination potential. Sure, “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” are the biggest box-office hits of the year, with plenty of awards coming their way, but for sheer quantity, for once, the studios cower in the shadow of the streaming. At best, they ride in their coattails.

It is a bittersweet development, for sure. The recent writers’ and actors’ strikes tore the curtain that hid the twisted economics of the streaming era just as the chickens were coming home to roost. The streaming model was only profitable by cutting creatives out of residuals and compacting the writer’s room to oblivion. In a way, the strikes saved the business from itself, halting measures that would decimate the quality of the series and, by extension, future films. By preventing actors and writers from earning a living, they would migrate to other industries, taking their talents elsewhere. This dynamic affects mainly series and TV production, not necessarily film. Alas, talent crosses from one medium to the other. You even need to put advertising in the mix.

The good crop of award-worthy cinema streamers enjoy now was paid for by a way of doing business that does not exist anymore. It remains to be seen how the new economics of the model will affect investment in movie development deals and purchases at film festivals. For the moment, leave them to enjoy their moment in the sun before it sets on the morning after the Academy Awards. Movie buff, you must be on your toes for the theatrical releases - Netlfix is particularly careless about them -. If you missed them, fear not. By the time Oscar nominations come along, all of them will be streaming.


May December

Sure, "Anatomy of a Fall" is very good, but it does not hold a candle to Todd Haynes' ever-metamorphosing melodrama. "May December" takes inspiration from the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal to set up a fiendishly clever meditation on identity, the balances of power within families, abuse and redemption, and, ultimately, the twisted ethics of acting. Julianne Moore is Grace, the elder seductress turned suburban mother. Natalie Portman is Elizabeth, the TV actress on the move up by playing her in an indie movie. Charles Melton, an alumnus of the "Riverdale" series, is the grown-up Joe Yoo, the seduced 14-year-old who waited for Grace to finish her prison sentence and married her. The three of them engage in a game of power and influence that will leave no one unscathed.

Possible Nominations:

Moore and Portman for Best Actress - too bad they will cancel each other out. Melton is a revelation and should be a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor. If anyone can keep the truckload of thespians from the “Oppenheimer” cast at bay, it’s him. Sammy Burch deserves the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.


The Academy is a sucker for biopics, actor-directors, and transformative make-up. You will find all three in Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro.” The movie tells the story of Leonard Bernstein, the legendary orchestra conductor who strived to make classical music popular in the US during the second half of the XX century, and his marriage to Costa Rican Actress Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). The drama hinges on the marital strife brought along by his bisexuality and recurring affairs with men throughout the relationship.

Possible nominations:

Best Picture, Screenplay, and Lead Performance by an Actor for Cooper. British Carey Mulligan is a shoo-in for Best Actress. Matthew Libatique is on the line for Best Cinematographer. Reproducing Bernstein’s performances makes the movie a prime candidate for the sound categories. And yes, for all the controversy that came out of the size of the nose planted on Cooper, expect a Best Makeup & Hairstyle nomination.

The Killer

David Fincher’s anti-action picture follows Michael Fassbender as a nameless contract killer who goes on a deadly rampage against his accomplices. The system turns against him after he fails to execute a mark. His girlfriend bears the brunt of retribution, and he goes off on a mission of vengeance. Fans celebrated a new collaboration between the director and Andrew Kevin Walker, the writer behind his breakthrough hit “Se7en” (1995). The movie is too cold and mechanic to transcend cult status, but it benefits from Fincher’s expected high level of craftsmanship.

Possible nominations:

Sound, Production Design, Editing, Cinematography. Maybe Supporting Actress for Tilda Swinton? Her star power helps, but if there is any justice in the world, recognition should go to Kerry O’Malley as Dolores, the much-suffering secretary who ends up in the crosshairs of Fassbender when he pays a visit to his duplicitous lawyer (Charles Parnell).


Years of goodwill accumulated by Colman Domingo should work in favor of this star vehicle that capitalizes on his talents. Domingo gets lost in the skin of Bayard Rustin, the openly gay Civil Rights champion who organized the historic 1963 march on Washington, DC. Co-screen writer Dustin Lance Black is no stranger to winning Oscars for bringing minority leaders back to life on the big screen. He took the Best Screenplay Award for “Milk” (Gus Van Sant, 2008), his biopic of Harvey Milk, San Francisco’s first openly gay elected official, who was assassinated on the job in 1978. To have former President Obama and First Lady Michele Obama as producers can only help. DC royalty on the red carpet!

Possible nominations:

Best Lead Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Picture.

Society of The Snow

Spain already picked Juan Antonio Bayona’s “Society of the Snow” as their candidate for Best Foreign Film. He broke through in the international scene with “The Orphanage” (2007), a stylish horror movie that served as a one-way ticket to Hollywood. Since then, he has delivered hits with “The Impossible” (2012) and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018). That should give him a leg up in the competition. Like Juan Jose Campanella (The Secret In Their Eyes, 2009), with his extensive work in US television, he is both an industry insider and an exotic foreign auteur. It helps that “Society of the Snow” is a killer survivor drama, fearless enough to recreate the full horror of a plane crash in Los Andes and drive the narrative towards an existential meditation on life, love, and mortality. And yes, this is based on the real-life tragedy of the Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in Los Andes and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. Frank Marshall offered his take on the story in “Alive” (1993)

Possible nominations:

Best Foreign Film, Best Editing, Best Special Effects, and Best Sound & Sound Editing. The sound of bones crushing during the crash sequence will haunt my nightmare for eternity.

Apple TV+

Killers of The Flower Moon

It’s a sign of the dire state of the filmmaking business in Hollywood that the best director of our times did not find a studio willing to cover the budget of his most ambitious film to date. Granted, “Killers of the Flower Moon” cost $200 million, but hey, it’s Martin Scorsese we are talking about here. The genocide of the Osage tribe at the dawn of the XX Century speaks volumes about racism in America. Also, it works as a fascinating historical drama that packs a punch, thanks to the beautiful performances by Lilly Gladstone as Osage heiress Molly, and Leonardo Dicaprio as a hapless murderer so corrupted by money that he can’t see he is killing the person he loves the most.

Possible nominations:

Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Leading Actress for Gladstone, Leading Actor for Dicaprio, Supporting Actor for Robert Deniro, and many other possible candidates, like Jason Isabel. Cinematography for Rodrigo Prieto, a posthumous nomination for Best Score for Robbie Robertson, and Best Editing for Thelma Schoonmaker.


Ridley Scott eagerly awaited the historical epic with Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte found its Waterloo in previews. The 2 hours -38 theatrical cut provoked mixed reviews. Still, the spectacle's scope and size are sure to earn many technical nominations. Also, the premiere of an extended 4-hour version on AppleTV+ may have a halo effect that would benefit Phoenix and his costar, Vanessa Kirby, who plays Empress Josephine.

Possible nominations:

Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Phoenix, Best Actress for Kirby, Cinematography, Production Design, Sound, Editing, and Special Effects.

Prime Video


Amazon’s pickings for Oscar season seem rather slim. Perhaps all that money poured into “The Lord of The Rings” series left Jeff Bezos’ emporium making sacrifices. Their best chance to prance around the Dolby Theater on Oscar night is this behind-the-scenes comedy-drama about how marketing executive Andrew Vaccaro (Matt Damon) pursued Michael Jordan as the face of Nike Air shoes. With Ben Affleck along for the ride as Nike Executive Phil Knight, the movie was marketed as the second coming of “Good Will Hunting” (1997), which gave the duo their Best Screenplay Oscar. Wait…nobody saw “Dogma” (Kevin Smith, 1999)? I thought that was supposed to be the “Good Will Hunting” reunion!

Possible nominations:

Best Picture, Best Director (Ben Affleck), Best Actor (Matt Damon), Best Supporting Actor (Ben Affleck), Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Best Screenplay. Available to stream on Prime Video.



Few movies have been able to tackle in such an illuminating way on XXI Century sexual and romantic mores as this three-handed drama about a gay couple that faces an impending crisis when one of the men engages in an affair with a woman. German actor Franz Rogowski is magnetic as the volatile, self-destructive Tomas. Ben Wishaw is his level-headed, long-suffering husband. Adele Exarchopoulos is the woman who almost inadvertently comes between them. The movie got great reviews at film festivals, including the Berlinale and Sundance. Indie movies don’t get more sexy than this. It’s too…frank to break the glass ceiling and get a deserving Best Picture nomination, but beyond that, the sky is the limit.

Possible nominations:

This is the indie movie with the most Oscar chances, by quality and exposure it achieved. Fellow filmmakers will recognize Sash’s achievement and support him for Best Director. Rogowski, Wishaw, and Exarchopoulos deserve to be in the acting categories. Also, Best Costume Design is a shoo-in. You see with startling clarity everything you need to know about the characters by the clothes they wear. The Art House fave is already streaming on Mubi, a valuable source of independent films online.

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