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The Cougar Chronicles’ Oscar Picks

Jonah Pappas

Staff Writer

In the glittering world of cinema, the Oscars stand as the pinnacle of excellence, where talent, creativity, and cinematic achievements are celebrated. As we edge closer to the much-anticipated Oscar night, predictions and speculations are rife about which stars will take home the golden statues. This year's race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting yet, with a diverse array of films that have captivated audiences and critics alike. This article will predict the winners of the eight most popular Oscar races.

Best Picture 

The nominees are: American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and The Zone of Interest.

My winner: Oppenheimer. An epic historical drama by visionary director Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer narrates the life of one of history's most famed scientists. It made almost a billion dollars during its theatrical run and has won numerous awards already. 

Best Actor

The nominees are: Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer 

Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction, Bradley Cooper for Maestro, and Colman Domingo for Rustin

My winner: Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer. His portrayal of the tortured scientist was fantastic and has been praised by many, with most lauding it as the best performance of the year. He already won the award for best actor at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, so I believe he will complete the trifecta at the Oscars.

Best Actress

The nominees are: Emma Stone for Poor Things,  Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon, Annette Bening for Nyad, Carey Mulligan for Maestro, and Sandra Hüller for Anatomy of a Fall.

My winner: Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon. Gladstone’s performance as an Osage woman is haunting and anguished. She masterful  

Best Animated Feature

The nominees are: Nimona, Robot Dreams, The Boy and the Heron, Elemental, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

My winner: The Boy and the Heron. Legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s potential final film, The Boy and the Heron takes the things we expect from a Studio Ghibli movie, gorgeous drawings and a whimsical story, and combines them with a melancholy rumination on mortality and the creative process. This delightful movie is a rollercoaster of emotions, right up to its heartbreaking finale. 

Best International Feature Film

The nominees are: Io Capitano, Perfect Days, Society of the Snow, The Teachers’ Lounge, and The Zone of Interest

My winner: The Zone of Interest. Jonathan Glazer’s chilling portrayal of a family living right next door to the Auschwitz concentration camp is a must-watch for any Jew. Although it is hard to watch at times, this film reminds us how easy it is for people to turn a blind eye to hatred, and holds special significance due to the events happening in Israel right now. 

Best Director

The nominees are: Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall, Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon, Yorgos Lanthimos for Poor Things, Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer, and Jonathan Glazer for The Zone of Interest. 

My winner: Martin Scorcese for Killers of the Flower Moon. At the age of 82, Martin Scorcese proves once again that age is just a number. He delivers an ominous adaptation of David Grann’s book from 2017, which does not shy away from the gruesome actions taken by white men against their Native neighbors in the early 1900s. 

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are: Mark Ruffalo for Poor Things, Robert De Niro for Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert Downey Jr. for Oppenheimer, Sterling K. Brown for American Fiction, and Ryan Gosling for Barbie.

My winner: Robert Downey Jr. for Oppenheimer. Downey Jr. delivers arguably the performance of his career as Lewis Strauss, an insecure but powerful scientist in the 1940s and 50s. His monologue at the end of the film is dynamic and a little frightening. Even though many of his scenes are in black and white, they create some of the most vivid images of the entire film. 

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees are: America Ferrera for Barbie, Danielle Brooks for The Color Purple, Da'Vine Joy Randolph for The Holdovers, Emily Blunt for Oppenheimer, Jodie Foster for Nyad

My winner: Emily Blunt for Oppenheimer. Blunt’s amazing performance as Kitty Oppenheimer complements Murphy’s fantastic performance perfectly. Blunt masterfully portrays a woman who is cheated on and disrespected countless times, but still remains loyal and strong through it all. 



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