- The Best Picture category at the Oscars 2024 is expected to be one of the most diverse and competitive in a long time, featuring films from various genres and directors from both the old and new guard.
- While some films may dominate other categories, there is still a chance for an unexpected dark horse to win Best Picture, making the race unpredictable.
- Several highly anticipated films, such as Dune: Part Two, The Color Purple, Napoleon, Maestro, and Killers of the Flower Moon, have the potential to win Best Picture based on their unique stories, talented cast, and strong direction, while Barbie and Oppenheimer have already proven themselves to be strong contenders.
The early predictions for Best Picture at the Oscars 2024 couldn’t include a more diverse group of films. This February, foreign films, blockbusters, sci-fi epics, and biopics all have a chance of taking home the coveted gold thanks to strong direction, nuanced performances, stunning cinematography, and meaningful scripts. Cinematic visions of the old guard of huge household names like Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott will go up against the new guard of filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, and Greta Gerwig, making it one of the most competitive, exciting, and unpredictable categories in a long time.
The early predictions for Oscars 2024 in the acting and directing categories seem to have a big influence on which movies will be nominated for Best Picture. There have been instances, however, when a film has won the Academy Award for Best Picture and failed to sweep other highly competitive categories, so this race is anyone’s to win and could include an unprecedented dark horse. One thing’s for sure – with so many great movies out this year and several more strong contenders still to be released, the real winners are the movie lovers who have so many choices.
10 Dune: Part Two
Provided its November 2023 release doesn’t get delayed, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two could snag a Best Picture nomination. Dune was very well received, but it set up a story, whereas its sequel will show the fruit of Villeneuve’s labors and be a more complete epic. Everything Everywhere All At Once won Best Picture at Oscars 2023, but it was an original sci-fi story, whereas Dune: Part Two requires having seen its predecessor, is based on an extensive universe developed by Frank Herbert, and doesn’t have the same cultural cache as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King did when it won in 2004.
9 The Holdovers
Watching the trailer for The Holdovers makes it look like the sort of Mike Nichols film that would have won Best Picture in the ’70s. It’s a small, self-contained film with a strong cast led by the eccentricities of Paul Giamatti as a curmudgeon professor who becomes the warden of students stuck at a university during Thanksgiving Break. It’s probably too thin a storyline with too few actors to go up against the other Best Picture nominees with stacked casts, but it’s the sort of character-driven piece like Nomadland, which won in 2021, that can claim victory under very special circumstances.
Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach will almost assuredly get Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Original Screenplay nominations, so Barbie could get a Best Picture nomination based on its thoughtful story wrapped up in a blockbuster outfit. It has some important messages about self-discovery and identity placed amidst themes of patriarchy and feminism, but it also works as a whimsical comedy, which actually may harm its chances of winning. Annie Hall was a comedy that also featured elements of existentialism that won Best Picture in 1978, but by and large, anything considered a comedy (and a blockbuster) does not have Kenough clout to win Best Picture.
7 Zone Of Interest
A24 can not only count itself among the studios willing to play ball with the SAG-AFTRA strike but also the few smaller studios with a movie that could win Best Picture. Zone of Interest, about a Nazi officer who falls in love with the woman involved with the commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, received a very warm reception at Cannes even with its horror elements. Based on the grisly 2014 novel by Martin Amis, it’s Jonathan Glazer’s first movie in a decade, and Parasite’s Best Picture win in 2020 set the precedent for a foreign language horror movie to take home the gold.
6 Anatomy Of A Fall
Sandra Hüller, star of Zone of Interest, could find herself in another Best Picture winner with Anatomy of a Fall, a French thriller directed and co-written by Justine Triet. Hüller stars as a writer trying to prove that she didn’t kill her husband while the only witness to his death is their blind son, igniting a moral dilemma that threatens to tear mother and son apart. Bristling with the violence and subterfuge of La Haine, Anatomy of a Fall is a gripping study at familial fragility with powerful performances that could make it a surprise dark horse in the competition.
5 The Color Purple
When it was released in 1985, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple made Whoopie Goldberg a star to watch and showed the world Oprah Winfrey could command a scene. Spielberg and Winfrey are producing The Color Purple in 2023, a musical adaptation of the struggles of Celie, an African-American woman living in the South in the early 20th century. If its winter 2024 release date isn’t pushed back, then its poignant subject-matter and stacked cast (including The Little Mermaid’s Halle Bailey) could make it the Best Picture winner of Oscars 2024.
Ridley Scott is releasing another extravagant historical epic, but unlike the divisive The Last Duel in 2021, Napoleon looks like it’s finally nailed the formula for his period piece to win Best Picture. Part biopic and part war drama, it follows Napoleon Bonaparte from his impoverished origins, through his ruthless climb up the ranks of the French military, to finally being crowned Emperor of France. Joaquin Phoenix fully commits to playing Bonaparte and will almost certainly be nominated for Best Actor, and after an exciting trailer, it looks like Scott has found his mojo, too, though the film may suffer from audiences playing wait-and-see.
Bradley Cooper is producing, directing, and starring in Maestro, the upcoming biopic about American composer Leonard Bernstein being backed by Martin Scorsese, Todd Phillips, and Steven Spielberg. Buzz has already begun thanks to on-set images of Cooper’s complete physical transformation into playing the legendary Hollywood conductor, which should generate curiosity enough to drive audiences to the theater. The only obstacle will be its lack of mass appeal because as musical biopics go, it’s not Bohemian Rhapsody, but A Star is Born fans could give it legs.
Christopher Nolan’s historical biopic about the godfather of the atomic bomb Robert Oppenheimer has received critical and commercial praise for its intense examination of one of the most monumental inventions in history as well as its repercussions. Along with every Christopher Nolan actor in Oppenheimer, including Cillian Murphy in one of the most prominent roles of his career, it sports huge names like Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt lending gravitas to a pragmatic storyline. With its director, cast, cinematography, and plot, it has all the ingredients to win Best Picture.
1 Killers Of The Flower Moon
If it’s as good as expected, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, and Brendan Fraser, will win Best Picture at the Oscars 2024. The acclaimed director’s historical drama blows open one of the most shameful conspiracies in American history (which prompted the rise of the FBI) and provides a powerful platform for the voices of a disenfranchised First American tribe. Osage with headrights for oil-rich property suffered dozens of coordinated murders to claim their oil-rich property in the 1900s, some of which were only solved recently.