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8 Movies With Oscar Potential

January 12th, 20248 Movies With Oscar Potential

We’ve said it before, and we’re likely to say it again, but 2023 was a banner year for the movies, with some of the best and most impactful films in recent memory making us laugh, cry, and feel just about every emotion in the book. Several of those movies did quite well at the Golden Globes®, and there’s reason to believe the same will be true during the 96th Academy Awards® ceremony on March 10.

Here are the eight movies we think have the best Oscar® potential heading into the grand finale of the awards season.

Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan’s OPPENHEIMER, which came out the same day as BARBIE, kicking off the “Barbenheimer” pop culture phenomenon that took the world by storm, was one of the most important films of the year and the past decade. And if the success of the three-hour biographical drama about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the atom bomb is any indication, we’re going to be hearing the title quite a bit at the Oscars®.

It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see OPPENHEIMER take Best Picture, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr. and Best Score, categories it won at the Golden Globes.

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Barbie

BARBIE was undoubtedly the most talked about movie of 2023, and for good reason, as Greta Gerwig’s hilarious, powerful and sentimental movie about one of history’s most famous toys was a tour de force. Winner of two Golden Globes, the Margot Robbie-led film has a lot of steam going into the Oscars.

We’re all but guaranteed to see BARBIE in the running for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for Robbie, Best Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling and Best Original Song, among various other categories. Honestly, it has a chance to win several of those.

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Poor Things

Yorgos Lanthimos’ POOR THINGS feels like one of those movies that could come into the Oscars and take everything and it wouldn’t be all that surprising. The mind-bending sci-fi black comedy starring Emma Stone as a woman brought back from the dead who embarks upon a journey of self-discovery in a fantastical world, has received heaps of praise since its release, including two Golden Globes for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

The Oscar nominations haven’t been released at the time of this writing, but there’s a good chance POOR THINGS shows up in all the major categories.

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The Holdovers

THE HOLDOVERS, Alexander Payne’s dramedy about a cantankerous teacher, a rebellious student and a grieving school cook spending the holiday break together after having no place to go, was one of the most charming, hilarious and poignant movies of 2023, and is more than deserving of all the praise it's received thus far.

Paul Giamatti and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, if nominated, will have some stiff competition in their respective categories, but each of their performances were so powerful, so moving and so nuanced that there’s reason to believe they add Oscar-winner to their names. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see THE HOLDOVERS win Best Original Screenplay or Production Design.

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Killers Of The Flower Moon

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, Martin Scorsese’s crime thriller about the systematic murder of wealthy members of the Osage Nation in early 20th-century Oklahoma, was one of the most unsettling, emotional and powerful films we saw in 2023. The three-and-a-half-hour epic features a breakout performance by Golden Globe winner Lily Gladstone, as well as grueling depictions of evil by Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, was a captivating experience to say the least.

Gladstone could very well cap off her year with an Oscar win for Best Actress, while Scorsese wouldn’t be a surprising choice for the winner in the Best Director category due to the film’s scope and scale.

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Anatomy Of A Fall

Justine Triet’s ANATOMY OF A FALL is a thrilling courtroom drama about a woman (played by Sandra Hüller) who is accused of murder after her husband falls out of a third-floor window at their remote mountain home. The winner of the famed Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and recipient of two Golden Globes — Best Picture - Non-English Language and Best Screenplay — there’s a good chance that trend continues with at least one Oscar win.

One of the favorites for Best Foreign Film, ANATOMY OF A FALL could also work its way into Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress consideration.

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Past Lives

Celine Song’s directorial debut, PAST LIVES, was one of the most beautiful, enchanting and devastating movies of 2023, and there’s reason to believe it will be celebrated at the upcoming Academy Awards. Greta Lee and Teo Yoo’s portrayals of two childhood crushes who go their separate ways and reconnect years later are equally amazing and two of the standout performances of the past year.

Don’t be surprised if this low-key yet powerful romantic drama ends up being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and the various actor categories.

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The Boy And The Heron

There were a lot of great animated movies that came out in 2023 like THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE and SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE, but the film that stands above the rest was Hayao Miyazaki’s THE BOY AND THE HERON. The latest fantasy film from the legendary Studio Ghibli animator and filmmaker followed a young boy as he travels to a fantastical world to find his deceased mother.

The winner of countless awards, including Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globes, THE BOY AND THE HERON is the favorite to take the top animation prize at the Oscars. Similarly, it wouldn’t be shocking to see it in other categories like Best Score and even Best Picture.

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Expect to hear a lot more about each of these eight movies with Oscar potential as we get closer to the 96th Academy Awards.

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