Oscar Predictions 2024: What Will Win In Every Category

You don’t need to wait for the ceremony itself to know who’s going to sweep the Oscars this year…

Well, admittedly, we don’t know who will win awards until the big night – which this year will be Sunday, 10th March – but thanks to the plethora of ceremonies so far this awards season, it’s easy to read the tea leaves.

As someone whose only real talent is being able to accurately predict the vast majority of Oscar winners every year – yes, I even predicted CODA unexpectedly taking home Best Picture a couple of years back – it’s now time for me to put my money where my mouth is and reveal who will bag the little gold man in each category, and why.

Best Visual Effects

NOMINEES; The Creator, Godzilla Minus One, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Napoleon

PREDICTED WINNER: Godzilla Minus One

Anime Ltd

The two films that have been sweeping this category at other ceremonies – Poor Things and Oppenheimer – aren’t even nominated here, despite being the big nomination leaders overall. In my opinion, that leaves a two horse race between two visual effects-driven spectacles, both of which have generated headlines due to the thriftiness of their productions.

Director Gareth Edwards used minimal crew members whilst filming The Creator, which makes its expansive, Blade Runner-inspired dystopia all the more impressive. However, the director of 2014’s Godzilla was bested in that department by the return of the Kaiju king in a movie whose budget was reportedly a paltry $15 million, which couldn’t stand in further contrast with the most recent Hollywood entry in the franchise (Godzilla Vs Kong), whose budget reportedly ballooned to $200 million.

Godzilla Minus One was heralded as the best Godzilla movie ever made by a large number of fans, especially as it brought everybody’s fave chonky radioactive boi to life at a cost that would probably only cover the catering on an American set. For putting Hollywood to shame like that, it seems like a safe bet to win this category.

Best Sound

NOMINEES; The Creator, Maestro, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Oppenheimer, The Zone Of Interest

PREDICTED WINNER: The Zone Of Interest


Another two-horse race in this category, which is equally as likely to be called for Christopher Nolan’s epic – a win that would be equally as deserving, considering how crucial a role the soundscape plays when it comes to depicting Oppenheimer’s fracturing mental state following the Trinity Test. To quote Taylor Swift, I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.

However, I give the edge to director Jonathan Glazer’s ambitious, experimental holocaust drama, where the atrocities of Auschwitz are manifested entirely as background noise, rumbling alongside the lowkey Nazi domestic drama at the centre. It’s an unsettling, oppressive experience entirely due to its soundscape, which literalises the horrors very deliberately left unspoken.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

NOMINEES; Golda, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Poor Things, Society of the Snow


Searchlight Pictures

Prior to sitting down to write this, I assumed that Maestro would overcome the myriad controversies surrounding gentile Bradley Cooper’s transformation into Jewish composer Leonard Bernstein. It’s the kind of performance where the prosthetics do a lot of the heavy lifting, and that is usually enough to land a win here.

Only, this season, that isn’t how it’s played out, with Maestro losing both the Critics’ Choice and BAFTA awards in this category, despite entering the season as a favourite. Critics’ Choice winner Barbie isn’t nominated here, so I’ll give the edge to BAFTA winner Poor Things, which has the most obvious transformations of its cast, from Willem Dafoe being transformed into Frankenstein, and Emma Stone blessed with a Lorde-circa-2013 hairdo.

In a category like this, it’s often the simplest and most plainly obvious cast member makeovers that can clinch the gold.

Best Production Design

NOMINEES; Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, Napoleon, Oppenheimer, Poor Things


Searchlight Pictures

Don’t worry, Oppenheimer WILL win big, but the craft categories will be the only big chance several other films have of winning anything – and even then, I can’t fully rule out Oppenheimer pulling off a sweep not seen since Return Of The King, even if it hasn’t quite set that precedent in this categories so far this season.

Right now, my money is on Poor Things repeating its BAFTA win for Best Production Design, as its steampunk reimagining of 19th century Europe combines two things voters love to reward in this category; distinct, sci-fi inflected universes (Dune, Black Panther, Mad Max: Fury Road), and fantastical, heavily stylised recreations of bygone eras (it recalls previous winners The Shape Of Water and The Grand Budapest Hotel in this regard).

Barbie is another potential winner, but with the vast majority of that movie not set in wondrous Barbieland, I suspect it won’t be viewed as a feat of production design to quite the same extent.

Best Costume Design

NOMINEES; Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, Napoleon, Oppenheimer, Poor Things


Searchlight Pictures

It’s equally as likely Barbie could triumph here, but with this category tending to overlook contemporary costuming unless it helps flesh out an alternate reality like Wakanda or Mad Max’s desert wasteland, I’m also calling this one for Poor Things. It won the BAFTA in this category too, but my gut feeling is that this will be the last of its several wins there that’ll be repeated here.

Best Film Editing

NOMINEES; Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer, Poor Things



Juggling three different timelines and making each distinct, whilst sitting coherently next to each other in a narrative spanning several periods, is no easy task. But after the head-spinning task of editing Tenet – which she wasn’t even nominated for – Jennifer Lame’s second collaboration with Christopher Nolan will have been a walk in the park by comparison, and her work makes a tricky technical achievement look effortless.

Best Cinematography

NOMINEES; El Conde, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Poor Things



For anybody who saw Oppenheimer in IMAX 70mm last summer, the Best Cinematography race was already over – and it’s still a stretch to imagine anybody but Hoyte van Hoytema taking this. He was previously nominated for his work on Nolan’s Dunkirk, losing out to Blade Runner 2049, and his work this time around is an effective extension of that WWII effort; even the quieter character moments feel grandiose when shot with the gargantuan IMAX cameras.

Best Live-Action Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short

As an Oscar completist who aims to watch every single film nominated, I’m ashamed to confess that the short films are always my last boxes to tick off, scrambling to get through them by any means necessary in the final days before the ceremony. As a result, my predictions here are all uneducated guesses – but I promised to predict every category, and I’m not going back on that.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT NOMINEES; The After, Invincible, Knight of Fortune, Red, White and Blue, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

PREDICTED WINNER: Red, White and Blue

Majic Ink Productions

All attention is on Wes Anderson’s Roald Dahl short here, which many are suspecting will bag him his first Oscar win, following in the footsteps of Peter Capaldi and Riz Ahmed as people you didn’t know won Oscars for directing short films. However, this category in recent years has leaned towards rewarding dramas unpacking social issues; see the 2019 winner Skin – about a white supremacist who gets kidnapped and has his skin tattooed black (yes, really) – or 2021’s Two Distant Strangers – a reimagining of Groundhog Day, about police brutality – as examples of films where the important issues at hand helped elevate shorts that were, shall we charitably say, a bit flawed.

However, this year’s frontrunner is as dramatically rewarding as its subject matter, if its rave critical reviews are anything to go by. Red, White and Blue charts a single mother’s journey to get an abortion in a state where it’s currently illegal, a hot button issue in a Presidential election year where Joe Biden is certain to remind voters that “abortion access is on the ballot”.

ANIMATED SHORT NOMINEES; Letter To A Pig, Ninety-Five Senses, Our Uniform, Pachyderme, WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko


The Hive Studio

As with the name recognition for Wes Anderson not necessarily resulting in a win for him in the live-action short category, I don’t think an animated short inspired by John Lennon’s beloved Christmas hit will translate to an easy win. After years of Disney and Pixar domination in this category, voters have recently opened up to rewarding more challenging material, and of this year’s nominees, Israeli animation Letter To A Pig is the most likely beneficiary of this.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT NOMINEES; The ABCs of Book Banning, The Barber of Little Rock, Island in Between, The Last Repair Shop, Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó

PREDICTED WINNER: The Last Repair Shop

Searchlight Pictures

It isn’t always the documentaries based on hot button issues that triumph in this category, and this crowd pleasing tale about a repair shop that fixes student’s instruments for free will likely triumph due to avoiding social issues in favour of a deeply humane tale about the ways music connects us all.

Best Documentary Feature

NOMINEES; Bobi Wine: The People’s President, The Eternal Memory, Four Daughters, To Kill A Tiger, 20 Days In Mariupol

PREDICTED WINNER: 20 Days In Mariupol


Shot during the first weeks of Russia’s invasion in 2022, 20 Days In Mariupol follows the Ukrainian journalists who risked their lives to ensure evidence of war crimes could be seen by the wider world. On a cynical level, the Academy’s historical preference for documentaries about the power of journalism ensures it’ll go home victorious – but the filmmaking itself is as vital as its subject matter.

Best Original Song

NOMINEES; The Fire Inside – Flamin’ Hot, I’m Just Ken – Barbie, It Never Went Away – American Symphony, Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People) – Killers of the Flower Moon, What Was I Made For? – Barbie

PREDICTED WINNER: What Was I Made For? – Barbie

Warner Bros.

After seeing Barbie, you’d be safe to assume that Ryan Gosling’s show-stopping Ken power ballad would cruise to a Best Original Song win. However, thanks to the narrative that both Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig were “snubbed” (despite receiving nominations in categories other than Actress and Director), whereas the male lead got nominated for a decidedly “female” film, I am predicting that voters will probably look towards rewarding a musical moment directly rooted in the film’s exploration of modern womanhood as a result.

It certainly helps that Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas aren’t just previous Oscar winners, but awards darlings in general – and with this already winning the Grammy for Song of the Year, it would be a stretch to imagine the movie failing to repeat that win with less A-list competition.

Best Original Score

NOMINEES; American Fiction, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer, Poor Things



Composer Ludwig Göransson is about to clinch his second win – following the iconic Black Panther score – in this category for his violin-centric score for Christopher Nolan’s latest. After years of being defined by the bombastic soundscapes of Hans Zimmer, Göransson has completely reinvented what a Nolan blockbuster sounds like, with his more intimate work proving surprisingly complementary to an IMAX-scale epic.

Best International Feature Film

NOMINEES; Io Capitano, Perfect Days, Society of the Snow, The Teachers’ Lounge, The Zone of Interest

PREDICTED WINNER: The Zone Of Interest


No film has ever been nominated for both Best Picture and Best International Feature and lost the latter – and because the French submission board inexplicably decided against sending Best Pic nominee Anatomy Of A Fall as their country’s entry (more on that later), the path has been cleared for The Zone Of Interest to triumph.

This award is, bizarrely, given to the country of origin, rather than the director. If The Zone Of Interest wins, it would make history as the first time the United Kingdom has won the prize – which, as one of the producers remarked when winning the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, is fairly surreal for a WWII film entirely in German, which they shot with a mostly Polish crew.

Best Animated Feature

NOMINEES; The Boy And The Heron, Elemental, Nimona, Robot Dreams, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

PREDICTED WINNER: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

Sony Pictures

If you, like me, love to read the “anonymous Oscar voter” articles that crop up around this time every year, you’ll know that many Oscar voters don’t bother to watch films in this category, and instead just ask their kids which movies they liked the most. It’s this reason why the category tends to default to Disney or Pixar movies, even if they haven’t won a single award leading up to it; Toy Story 4 triumphing over the critical favourite Klaus in 2020 is an upset everybody should have seen coming, in retrospect.

Whilst Pixar’s Elemental won’t win here, the sequel to prior winner Into The Spider-Verse will due to brand recognition and child friendliness, the big advantage it has over the current favourite, The Boy And The Heron. I suspect Oscar voters won’t flock to Hayao Miyazaki’s ambitious, dense film – and if they’ve left voting in the hands of their kids then it definitely won’t win, as its labyrinthine plot will confound any young viewers.

Best Adapted Screenplay

NOMINEES; American Fiction, Barbie, Oppenheimer, Poor Things, The Zone of Interest

PREDICTED WINNER: American Fiction


Every year, there’s a movie that scrapes into the Best Picture lineup because of a passionate minority of fans, which most Academy voters catch up with after nominations are announced, and decide to vote for it to make up for not seeing it earlier. The most extreme example of this is CODA, which won all three of its nominations including Best Picture back in 2022, riding to success at the last minute, presumably as it was the last nominee most voters watched.

This narrative is already forming for American Fiction, which was only nominated for one BAFTA – Best Adapted Screenplay – and unexpectedly beat both Oppenheimer and Poor Things to the prize. It’s unlikely to sweep all five categories it’s nominated for at Oscar (although Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown are very worthy acting nominees), but Adapted Screenplay seems like a safe bet; the passion for this movie is there, and this is the only category where it can make itself heard over Oppy.

Best Original Screenplay

NOMINEES; Anatomy Of A Fall, The Holdovers, Maestro, May December, Past Lives


Picturehouse Entertainment

Anatomy Of A Fall would have easily won the Best International Film category had France selected it – and considering its top tier nominations for Picture, Actress and Director, it’s safe to say Oscar voters will be looking to reward it somewhere. To explain why it’ll clinch the Original Screenplay category, I invite you to look back to 2003, when Spain didn’t choose Pedro Almodovar’s critically acclaimed Talk To Her as its Foreign Language Feature selection, turning their back on a surefire win.

Oscar voters responded by giving Almodovar screenplay and directing nominations, with the filmmaker winning the former. That same narrative is likely to play out identically here, and I couldn’t be happier, as this will become the first Oscar winning movie where 50 Cent’s 2003 single P.I.M.P is a crucial plot point.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

NOMINEES; Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer, Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple, America Ferrera – Barbie, Jodie Foster – Nyad, Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

PREDICTED WINNER: Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers


There are awards season sweeps, and then there’s Da’Vine Joy Randolph, whose turn in The Holdovers has unprecedently won every major award its nominated for. A month back, it looked like director Alexander Payne’s Christmas comedy would be taking home several awards – in retrospect, it now looks like it was the strength of Randolph that was helping it bag prizes in other categories.

If there is an upset here – and we can’t rule out anything – then Emily Blunt will likely be the beneficiary, off the back of Oppenheimer’s likely sweep. But this is highly unlikely; Randolph is cruising to the night’s most surefire win.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

NOMINEES; Sterling K Brown – American Fiction, Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert Downey Jr – Oppenheimer, Ryan Gosling – Barbie, Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things

PREDICTED WINNER: Robert Downey Jr – Oppenheimer


During his MCU years, the widespread consensus was that once Robert Downey Jr. sunk his teeth into a dramatic role again, Oscar glory was in sight. A lot of these bold predictions fall flat, but the warm reception and year-long Oscar buzz surrounding the actor’s first post-Tony Stark role – no, we’re not counting Doolittle – was a sign that Hollywood has been waiting with baited breath to reward him at the first possible opportunity.

If he wins, he’ll be the first actor in a Nolan movie to win an acting award since Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar for The Dark Knight back in 2009.

Best Director

NOMINEES; Justine Triet – Anatomy Of A Fall, Martin Scorsese – Killers Of The Flower Moon, Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer, Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things, Jonathan Glazer – The Zone Of Interest

PREDICTED WINNER: Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer


After being overlooked for The Dark Knight, Inception and Interstellar – and losing his only nomination for Dunkirk to Guillermo Del Toro – Christopher Nolan has built up a reputation as this generation’s Steven Spielberg; a director of massive, acclaimed blockbusters, who couldn’t get arrested by the Academy. As Schindler’s List was for Spielberg, Oppenheimer is a film of such stature Oscar voters can’t possibly continue to overlook it.

Anything less than a win for Nolan here would be the biggest upset in this category in recent memory. Right now, I can’t see that happening.

Best Actress

NOMINEES; Annette Bening – Nyad, Lily Gladstone – Killers Of The Flower Moon, Sandra Hüller – Anatomy Of A Fall, Carey Mulligan – Maestro, Emma Stone – Poor Things

PREDICTED WINNER: Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon


All awards season, Best Actress has looked like a two-horse race between the two Stones – Emma, and Lily Glad. In recent weeks, it looked like the race had narrowed, with Stone on a clear path to victory for Poor Things, but a closer inspection of every Best Actress category paints a different picture.

The only award Stone has outright beaten Gladstone for is the Critics Choice award; Gladstone was rudely overlooked at BAFTA, giving Stone a clearer path for a win, whereas at the Golden Globes, the actresses were positioned in two different categories. Gladstone’s recent win at the SAG awards has tipped the race back in her favour, just like Brendan Fraser’s win for The Whale did in the overcrowded Best Actor race last year – and if this is the only award that’ll be won by Martin Scorsese’s latest epic, then it couldn’t go to a worthier victor.

Best Actor

NOMINEES; Bradley Cooper – Maestro, Colman Domingo – Rustin, Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers, Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer, Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

PREDICTED WINNER: Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer


This is another two-horse race which has narrowed in these final, pre-award weeks, with Paul Giamatti looking not just like a serious contender throughout January, but the presumptive winner thanks to a series of high-profile wins. But now, the momentum is firmly with Cillian Murphy, who on paper seems like should have been the logical winner all along.

When the movie first premiered last July, critics and fans worried that his performance might be too internal and understated for the stereotypical tastes of Oscar voters. Yes, he was playing a real-life figure in the year’s biggest biopic, but the performance was devoid of the showiness expected from the genre.

It goes without saying; several months later, the people who thought that are likely now wondering why they were worried. This has always been Murphy’s award to lose.

Best Picture

NOMINEES; American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, The Zone of Interest



The Oscars are different to other major awards ceremonies in that, rather than voting for a favourite in the category, all voters are asked to rank each of the nominees from best to worst. The trick to predicting this category is often working out which movies the fewest voters will have ranked bottom, which typically favours broad, crowd-pleasers – up until just a couple of weeks ago, I was bullish that The Holdovers was going to win because of this, but now Oppenheimer looks too unstoppable for this to happen.

Very few voters will have ranked this last, and a sizeable number will have ranked it first – the two ingredients you need to be crowned Best Picture winner.

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Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder


Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.