The top 10 movies battling it out for Oscars glory

With plenty of good films in the running, could a nod at the Golden Globes help a few along to the main prize?

Jan 04, 2024, updated Jan 04, 2024
Poles apart in storylines, Oppenheimer and Barbie are among the top 10 Oscar hopefuls after receiving multiple Golden Globe nominations.

Poles apart in storylines, Oppenheimer and Barbie are among the top 10 Oscar hopefuls after receiving multiple Golden Globe nominations.

When the 2024 Golden Globe nominations were announced in early December, we were a step closer to knowing which films will make the shortlist for best picture at the Oscars in March.

However, it’s not that straightforward. Hollywood’s two biggest awards ceremonies are very different in style and tone.

The Oscars exude prestige and the academy’s 10,000-plus membership recognises the most worthy, serious movie (think CODA, Parasite, Moonlight).

The Globes – with 300 members and now 60 per cent diversity – have a loose dinner party atmosphere and lean more into pop culture.

And just because a movie was nominated for a Globe doesn’t mean it will make it onto the Oscar dance card.

For example, in 2023, The Banshees of Inisherin (Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan), Elvis (Austin Butler) and Steven Spielberg’s semi biopic, The Fabelmans, received nine, eight and seven Oscar nominations each, but despite winning multiple Globes, none of the films collected a golden Oscars statuette.

When the Globes’ organisational body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association released its nominations for best picture on December 11, it was Greta Gerwig’s post-feminist treatise, Barbie, starring Australia’s Margot Robbie, which scored the most nominations.

“Its 10 nods makes the movie the second-most-nominated in the 81-year history of the show, tying it with Cabaret,” mused Variety.

It was closely followed by Oppenheimer, director Christopher Nolan’s look at J Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the atomic bomb.

Oppenheimer will compete in the best motion picture – drama category alongside Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Anatomy of a Fall, The Zone of Interest and Past Lives.

Barbie goes into the best motion picture – musical or comedy and is up against Air, American Fiction, Poor Things, May December and The Holdovers.

Films including a remake of The Color Purple, The Iron Claw and The Boy and the Heron (the last two judged by the New-York based National Board of Review among the top 10 best films of the year) were omitted.

Will Barbie walk away with the top prize? Or will it be a repeat of the 2019 Oscars with Korean love story Past Lives winning (Korean black comedy Parasite won that year).

“The shortlist of potential Oscar favourites is filling up fast,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“With the actor strike settled and stars now able to actively campaign for their films, these latest Thanksgiving entries will benefit not only from the freshness of their release but also the ability of the talent to become involved in the promotion of their films as worthy and viable Oscar contenders.”

The official Oscar nominations are announced on January 23. Then the serious fun begins as Hollywood heavyweights host lunches, parties, soirees, special viewings of their chosen flick.

Final Oscars voting is from February 22-27. The entertainment world’s biggest prize closes out the awards ceremony (hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for a fourth time) on March 10.

Ahead of all that, here’s InDaily’s top 10 nominations.


Oppenheimer was released in cinemas seven months ago and be watched on streaming services such as Prime Video, so you’ve got plenty of time before the big day.


Christopher Nolan’s three-hour biopic was a box office hit, with almost $US940 million worldwide.

Starring Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), Robert Downey Jr, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, it will “get a ton of technical awards, or at least nominations”, EW told The Awardist.

Best picture, director, adapted screenplay and actor for Murphy “seem like a lock”: “You could fill the whole supporting actor category with nominees from this movie.”

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon continues to get rave reviews. Photo: Getty

Killers of the Flower Moon

The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro is heading straight for the trophy cabinet.

It premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival with a nine-minute standing ovation. It has a legendary director and lead actors – as well as newcomer Gladstone, which is always a feel-good at Oscars time – and it’s a quality story based on real events.

Killers is on track to win best picture,” writes movieweb.

Barbie was a global smash hit that left studio execs stunned. Photo: Warner Bros.


Billboard reckons it will take home best original score for I’m Just Ken, but will it jump the hurdle for best movie?

“[The] Warner Bros. box office juggernaut is the biggest film of the year. But can Mattel’s iconic doll make as big of a splash in Academy Award Land?” asks The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Academy is known for favouring previous nominees and winners. Two-time nominees Robbie and [Ryan] Gosling are leading actress and supporting actor contenders, respectively, having proven their comic chops as deftly as their dramatic talents,” it writes.

Barbie is also tipped to get close in production design, costume and best director. THR reckons its Hollywood darlings are ready for plenty post-strike promotion, which translates into votes – but will it be enough?

Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in Poor ThingsPhoto: 20th Century Studios

Poor Things

Emma Stone (La La Land, The Favourite) plays Bella, “a Frankensteinian creation (a baby’s brain placed inside the skull of an adult body) who, as she grows, becomes a literate and libidinous woman of the world”, Vanity Fair writes.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, the film is “a dark fantasy version of continental Europe, through which Stone merrily makes her way, delivering a perhaps career-best performance as she goes”.

“Grim but never bleak, clever but not smug, Poor Things is a nervy experiment that yields oddly beautiful results.”

US betting agency GoldDerby has its odds behind Killers and Oppenheimer but a match for Barbie at 17-2.

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Past Lives

Possibly the dark horse of best picture, Past Lives tells the story of the reunion of two Korean childhood friends separated by immigration.

Greta Lee (Morning Wars) is tipped as a contender for best actress for her performance.

Past Lives has scored 97 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, and, even being released early by A24 may not be an issue.

GoldDerby points to Everything, Everywhere All at Once also being released early. And it won best picture.


Bradley Cooper stars in and directs this Leonard Bernstein biopic.

GoldDerby reckons he “100 per cent” will win best actor for playing a real-life person who transforms physically perfectly on screen, and the Academy will reward him in spades.

The film will be nominated among the best movies and has odds at 21-2 to win the statuette.


Joaquin Phoenix plays Napoleon Bonaparte in this Ridley Scott-directed three-hour film that details the chequered rise and fall of the French emperor and his relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his wife, Josephine (played by Vanessa Kirby).

The film has been shut out by the Globes – it didn’t get a Globe nod for best picture (drama) nor best actor and isn’t on GD’s top 10 odds list.

It has received mixed reviews, despite some exciting battle sequences – but it could well be Kirby who steals the trophy for best actress.

The Holdovers

Having secured a best motion picture – musical or comedy Globe nomination and a few acting nods, The Holdovers story follows a teacher (Paul Giamatti, Sideways) at a New England prep school who must remain on campus during Christmas break to babysit the handful of students with nowhere to go.

What could go wrong?

GD has odds at 19-2, putting it solidly in the mix for best picture.

The Color Purple

Like Napoleon, The Color Purple may have had its Oscars prospects dashed by missing Golden Globe nominations.

A musical adaptation of the classic novel and stage production, the film earned acting nominations for Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks, but was left off the list for best motion picture – musical or comedy.

The original 1985 film, directed by Steven Spielberg, received 11 Oscar nominations and won zero.

American Fiction

Vanity Fair updates its Oscar predictions regularly and has American Fiction sitting at No.7 on its top 10 list.

It has been nominated in the Globes best picture – musical or comedy and continues to enjoy a 95 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Starring Jeffrey Wright and Tracee Ellis Ross, its official synopsis reads: “A novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from ‘black’ entertainment uses a pen name to write a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.”

GD has odds for best picture at 11-1.

Anatomy of a Fall, Ferrari, May DecemberSaltburn and The Zone of Interest are also potential candidates.

This story first appeared in our sister publication The New Daily.

Topics: Oscars
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