18 Early Predictions For Oscars 2024: Actors, Director & Best Picture

While the 2023 ceremony has still yet to commence, there are plenty of exciting performances, directorial efforts, and movies that are already predicted to receive nods at the 2024 Oscars. The nominees for the 2023 Oscars event largely offered a fresh change to the Academy’s voting history in relation to genre and diversity, especially with the history that could be made with predicted winners in the acting categories. The 2024 Oscars are expected to follow a similar path, as the slate of 2023 movies features numerous highly-anticipated stories and performances that aren’t apt to be forgotten.

Although it’s too early to accurately predict winners at the 2024 Oscars, several films, their stars, and their directors are already front-runners for nominations based on their genres, history at the Academy Awards, and anticipation. However, given none of the films predicted to be nominated in acting, directing, and best picture categories at the 2024 Oscars have been released, the list is apt to change as more films premiere and their official critical consensus is determined. Still, with a year left to go until the 96th Academy Awards ceremony, there are 18 potential nominees in the big four categories from anticipated 2023 movies that already have good chances of earning recognition at the Oscars.

18 Martin Scorsese – Best Director

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese is tied with Steven Spielberg for the most directing nominations at the Oscars with nine nods, but he could pull ahead at the 2024 Oscars. Scorsese’s upcoming film Killers of the Flower Moon is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2023, marking the director’s sixth feature film collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio. Given the fact that Scorsese has received a Best Director nomination at the Oscars for each of his film collaborations with DiCaprio except Shutter Island, May 2023’s Killers of the Flower Moon is likely to earn him another one. If Martin Scorsese scores a Best Director nomination at the 2024 Oscars, he’ll have been recognized in the category 10 times.

17 Christopher Nolan – Best Director

Everything we know about Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer

Despite having directed some of the most successful films of the 21st century, Christopher Nolan’s first and only Best Director Oscar nomination was for the war drama Dunkirk in 2018. Admittedly, Dunkirk fit better with the Academy’s voting trends as a war film, whereas the Oscars had been less inclined to award sci-fi thrillers and superhero movies in big categories until more recently. However, Christopher Nolan’s upcoming 2023 biographical drama Oppenheimer is already one of the most highly-anticipated movies with a stacked A-list cast and genre that notably appeals to the Academy. Given the early praise for Oppenheimer’s technical achievements and ambitious premise, Christopher Nolan will likely earn a nomination for Best Director at the 2024 Oscars.

16 Bradley Cooper – Best Director

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro

Director-writer-actor Bradley Cooper is predicted to receive a Best Director nomination at the 2024 Oscars for his upcoming movie Maestro. The film is Cooper’s follow-up to his 2018 directorial debut A Star Is Born, which was nominated for Best Picture and earned Cooper a Best Actor nod, but was snubbed of a Best Director nomination. In another musically-inclined drama, Cooper’s work as the director, writer, and star of Maestro is expected to finally earn him a nomination for Best Director at the 2024 Oscars. The Academy loves films about real people, so Cooper pulling off the Leonard Bernstein biopic almost guarantees recognition at the Oscars.

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15 Greta Gerwig – Best Director

After being nominated at the 2018 Oscars for her directorial debut Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig was notably snubbed of a Best Director nomination at the 2020 Oscars for her Best Picture-nominated adaptation of Little Women. Her lack of a nomination continued the Oscars’ problematic history of shutting women out of the Best Director category, but Gerwig is slated to make a comeback at the 2024 Oscars for Barbie. Gerwig is serving as the writer-director of the July 2023 satire movie based on the iconic Mattel doll. As one of the most acclaimed female directors in Hollywood, Gerwig is predicted to receive a nod for her work on the greatly-anticipated Barbie movie.

14 Cillian Murphy – Best Actor

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

Although Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy has been lauded as one of Hollywood’s most talented film and TV actors, he has yet to receive an Emmy or Oscar nomination. However, this is set to change at the 2024 Oscars due to his title performance in Christopher Nolan’s July 2023 movie Oppenheimer. Murphy is portraying real-life theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, AKA the “father of the atomic bomb.” The Academy is notable for often rewarding portrayals of real-life figures, with Murphy’s dramatic central performance in Oppenheimer’s accomplished cast setting him up to receive his first nomination for Best Actor at the 2024 Oscars.

13 Leonardo DiCaprio – Best Actor

Leonardio Dicaprio next movie Killers of the Flower Moon explained

While he didn’t score a nomination for his performance in the 2022 Best Picture nominee Don’t Look Up, Leonardo DiCaprio is expected to receive yet another acting nod at the Oscars for his performance in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming movie Killers of the Flower Moon. DiCaprio has been nominated for the Best Actor Oscars five times already, having won the award in 2016 for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant. Two of DiCaprio’s other Best Actor nominations were for movies he made with Martin Scorsese, including The Aviator and The Wolf of Wall Street. As DiCaprio leads another true story adaptation from Scorsese in Killers of the Flower Moon, he’s predicted to earn a nomination for Best Actor at the 2024 Oscars.

12 Joaquin Phoenix – Best Actor

Beau is Afraid Poster Cropped

The 2020 Oscars’ Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix is starring in one of the most highly-anticipated 2023 movies from A24. Phoenix is playing the title role in Beau Is Afraid, a surrealist comedy horror movie from Midsommar director Ari Aster. Beau Is Afraid would mark Phoenix’s fourth Best Actor nomination at the Oscars, with the actor’s 2020 win for Joker suggesting the Academy will continue to recognize him in unconventional roles. Following the success of Everything Everywhere All at Once at the 2023 Oscars, A24 movies like Beau Is Afraid are more likely to maintain prestige in acting categories at the 2024 Oscars and beyond.

11 Colman Domingo – Best Actor

Colman Domingo with The Color Purple logo

Also a front-runner for Best Actor nominations at the 2024 Oscars is Colman Domingo for the upcoming musical adaptation of The Color Purple. Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film adaptation of The Color Purple was nominated for eleven awards at the 1986 Oscars, including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. In the 2023 film, Colman Domingo is portraying the antagonist Albert “Mister” Johnson, a role played by Danny Glover in the 1985 version. Domingo is already the recipient of an Emmy and has been nominated for Tony and Olivier awards, with The Color Purple potentially adding an Oscar nomination to his growing list of accolades.

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10 Margot Robbie – Best Actress

Margot Robbie smiling and tilting sunglasses down in Barbie movie

Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie is predicted to pick up another Academy Award nod for her title role in Greta Gerwig’s 2023 movie Barbie. Robbie received a nomination for Best Actress at the 2018 Oscars for her title role in I, Tonya, as well as a nod for Best Supporting Actress at the 2020 Oscars for Bombshell. Given the widespread anticipation for Barbie and Gerwig’s history of directing Oscar-nominated actress performances, Margot Robbie is predicted to receive her second nomination for Best Actress at the 2024 Oscars.

9 Emily Blunt – Best Actress

Katherine Oppenheimer Emily Blunt

Similar to Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt could receive her first Academy Award nomination for her role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Blunt is portraying J. Robert Oppenheimer’s wife Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, which is the film’s leading female role. If Oppenheimer proves to have incredible cast performances, then Emily Blunt is likely to be nominated for Best Actress at the 2024 Oscars. Three of the last four winners of the Best Actress award at the Oscars have been for portrayals of real-life people, indicating Blunt could be at an advantage to receive a nod in the category.

8 Carey Mulligan – Best Actress

Two-time Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan is predicted to earn another nomination at the 2024 Oscars for her role in Bradley Cooper’s Maestro. In the upcoming 2023 biopic, Mulligan portrays real-life actress Felicia Montealegre, whose husband was Cooper’s character Leonard Bernstein. Similar to Blunt, Mulligan may have an advantage by playing a real person, especially one who was in the film industry. Mulligan is already a decorated actress, so her role in Oscar-nominated director Bradley Cooper’s Maestro is expected to add to her impressive list of accolades.

7 Fantasia Barrino – Best Actress

Fantasia The Color Purple

Given the fact that Whoopi Goldberg was nominated for Best Actress for the 1985 version, Fantasia Barrino is likely to earn a Best Actress nomination at the 2024 Oscars for playing Celie in the musical adaptation. While The Color Purple is Fantasia’s film debut, the Grammy-winning artist already played the role of Celie on Broadway during the show’s original production in 2007 and 2008. Since The Color Purple is centered around Celie’s story and Fantasia’s performance, she’s the most likely cast member to be recognized at the 2024 Oscars for her work in the 2023 movie.

6 Asteroid City – Best Picture

Wes Anderson Brand Surprised 7 Tweed Suit Game Strong

Writer-director Wes Anderson’s upcoming film Asteroid City is expected to pick up nominations at the 2024 Oscars. The film follows students and parents at a Junior Stargazer convention, with a bigger ensemble cast than most Anderson movies. Although Anderson’s 2021 film The French Dispatch was snubbed of any Oscar nominations, the stacked cast and intriguing premise of his upcoming 2023 film Asteroid City hint at a different outcome. After The Grand Budapest Hotel was nominated for Best Picture at the 2015 Oscars, Anderson is due for another Academy Award nod. While it’s too early for Asteroid City to be a lock for a Best Picture nomination at the 2024 Oscars, the movie has potential to be a front-runner.

5 Oppenheimer – Best Picture

Oppenheimer Christopher Nolan nuclear bomb black and white

Having amassed great hype even ahead of initial trailers, Christopher Nolan is predicted to earn his third nomination for Best Picture with Oppenheimer at the 2024 Oscars. As Nolan’s first biopic drama, Oppenheimer is a massive step in the filmmaker’s career, especially in terms of movies that historically appeal better to Academy voters. With a cast that includes numerous Oscar-nominated and winning actors like Robert Downey, Jr, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, and Gary Oldman, as well as a compelling, morally complex true story, Oppenheimer has great odds to secure a Best Picture nomination at the 96th Academy Awards.

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4 Killers Of The Flower Moon – Best Picture

A woman and a man sit at a table in the Killers of the Flower Moon movie.

Martin Scorsese has already directed nine Best Picture-nominated films, with the highly-anticipated Killers of the Flower Moon being set to follow suit at the 2024 Oscars. The Apple TV+ original film is based on the true story of the Osage tribe murders in the 1920s, with Scorsese’s project also having a budget of $200 million. Oscar-winning actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro leading Scorsese’s film is a recipe for success at the 96th Academy Awards, especially with Apple leading its campaign after CODA’s 2022 Best Picture win.

3 Dune: Part Two – Best Picture

Dune part two More action tease

Considering Dune: Part One already scored a Best Picture nomination at the 2022 Oscars, the exciting sequel is likely to repeat this major achievement. Dune: Part Two is set to truly dive deep into the sci-fi world’s action and political story, which could lead to even greater critical acclaim than the original movie. With Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve still at the helm and a cast that includes Emmy winner Zendaya and Academy Award winners and nominees like Timothée Chalamet, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem, Dune: Part Two could end up having more success at the 2024 Oscars than its predecessor.

2 The Color Purple – Best Picture

The Color Purple Musical Title

The Color Purple musical film also has great potential to nab a Best Picture nomination at the 2024 Oscars. The original 1985 movie was nominated in the same category at the Academy Awards, suggesting the 2023 adaptation will have similar recognition. The musical genre has historically done well with the Academy, which includes the famous Best Picture nod for La La Land at the 2017 Oscars. Given the notoriety and acclaim of The Color Purple’s remade story, its musical adaptation will likely still have the same appeal to – and perhaps an even more emotionally-charged impact on – the Academy as the 1985 movie, which gives it good odds for a Best Picture nomination at the 2024 Oscars.

1 The Killer – Best Picture

David Fincher The Killer Comic

All five films directed by David Fincher since The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) have been nominated for an Oscar, with three having been nominated for Best Picture. The acclaimed director’s upcoming Netflix film The Killer is thus another early contender for a Best Picture nomination at the 96th Academy Awards. The Killer is set to premiere in November 2023, which is the timeframe when Netflix typically releases the films it intends to campaign for at the Oscars. The neo-noir action crime thriller starring Michael Fassbender is expected to follow in the footsteps of Fincher’s 2020 film Mank with a Best Picture nod at the 2024 Oscars, especially if it replicates the quality of Fincher’s crime thriller Se7en.

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