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A few hours until Oscars 2024: 5 things to anticipate
Mar 10, 2024 01:08 pm

From the Best Actress contest to record-breakers, here's what to watch during Monday's Oscars.Will Oppenheimer break Oscars records? Who will win the close best actress race? Might Martin Scorsese go empty-handed again? Variety awards editor Clayton Davis recommends five things to watch during the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday.Christopher Nolan's atomic blockbuster Oppenheimer will win plenty of Oscars. But how many? Davis said even a "really conservative" eight would be the most since Slumdog Millionaire in 2009.The record of 11 is likely unattainable. If it wins close races like best actor and best adapted script, movie might tie West Side Story (1961) at 10.After years of indie successes winning best picture, Oppenheimer became the highest-grossing winner since 2004's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the third-highest of all time (behind Titanic). It may be the highest-grossing film to earn Oscars for Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy. After Driving Miss Daisy, it would be Nolan and Emma Thomas' second best picture award.Barbie will be everywhere at Sunday's Oscars, despite her slim chances of winning. Billie Eilish and Ryan Gosling will perform Oscar-nominated songs from the film, while Jimmy Kimmel will make jokes about the blockbuster hit comedy in his opening monologue. "I can't imagine an entire evening that doesn't reference Barbie multiple, if not hundreds of times," Davis said.Expect references to pink and "snubs" for Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, who were not nominated for directing and starring in the year's highest-grossing film.It'll be Barbie overload. This may annoy some "Davis said.The best actress race is the most difficult to predict, with Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone tied. Davis calls it for Killers of the Flower Moon star Gladstone, but he changes his mind "at different moments."Gladstone, the first Native American actor to win, would give the gala a historic moment, but other voters don't consider her as the genuine "lead" of a film in which Leonardo DiCaprio dominated the three-and-a-half hours. While the Academy's "international vote" favors Stone's performance in Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos's Poor Things, Sandra Hueller's French courtroom drama "Anatomy of a Fall." could hurt her. Davis: "This is where it comes down to math."Martin Scorsese, a legendary director, has many honors. Assuming Gladstone loses, Killers will become Scorsese's third film with 10 nominations to receive no Oscar.As with The Irishman and Gangs of New York, Scorsese suffered. "It's like 'first world problems,' to have 30 Oscar nominations and you didn't win any of them," Davis said. "But that is a lot."As usual, Hollywood's elite present at the Oscars.At a press conference this week, organizers announced that five past acting category winners will introduce this year's finalists. Jennifer Lawrence may introduce Emma Stone, Matthew McConaughey Paul Giamatti, and Tim Robbins Robert Downey Jr. Showrunner Raj Kapoor said it creates a "lovely connection and that human interaction," borrowing from the 2009 Oscars. The combo Davis wants most? Rita Moreno presents. Adding them up, she should unveil America Ferrera's Barbie nomination with 'America, America!'"