Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' tops all Oscar nominees with 13; 'Barbie' snags 8

Greta Gerwig was surprisingly left out of the best director field


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Published: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 7:07 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 1:52 PM

After a tumultuous movie year marred by strikes and work stoppages, the Academy Awards showered nominations Tuesday on Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic, 'Oppenheimer', which came away with a leading 13 nominations.

Nolan’s three-hour opus, viewed as the best picture frontrunner, received nods for best picture; Nolan’s direction; acting nominations for Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt; and multiple honours for the craft of the J. Robert Oppenheimer drama.

But the year’s biggest hit, 'Barbie', came away with a nominations haul notably less than its partner in Barbenheimer mania. Greta Gerwig’s feminist comedy, with more than $1.4 billion in ticket sales, was nominated for eight awards, including best picture; Ryan Gosling for best supporting actor; and two best-song candidates in “What Was I Made For” and “I’m Just Ken.”

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But Gerwig was surprisingly left out of the best director field. Gerwig was nominated for best director in 2018 for her solo directorial debut, 'Lady Bird'. At the time, she was just the fifth woman nominated for the award. Since then, Chloé Zhao ('Nomadland') and Jane Campion ('The Power of the Dog') have won best director. Before those wins, Kathryn Bigelow ('The Hurt Locker', in 2010) was the only woman to win the Oscar’s top filmmaking honor.

Both Martin Scorsese’s Osage epic 'Killers of the Flower Moon' and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Frankenstein riff 'Poor Things' were also widely celebrated. 'Poor Things' landed 11 nods, while 'Killers of the Moon' was nominated for 10 Oscars.

Lily Gladstone, star of 'Killers of the Flower Moon', became the first Native American nominated for best actress. For the 10th time, Scorsese was nominated for best director. Leonardo DiCaprio, though, was left out of best actor.

The 10 films nominated for best picture were: 'Oppenheimer', 'Barbie', 'Poor Things', 'Killers of the Flower Moon', 'The Holdovers', 'Maestro', 'American Fiction', 'Past Lives', 'Anatomy of a Fall' and 'The Zone of Interest'.

Lead nominees 'Oppenheimer', 'Barbie', 'Poor Things' and 'Killers of the Flower Moon' made for a maximalist quartet of Oscar heavyweights. Nolan’s sprawling biopic. Gerwig’s near-musical. Scorsese’s pitch-black Western. Lanthimos’ sumptuously designed fantasy. Each utilized a wide spectrum of cinematic tools to tell big, often disturbing big-screen stories. And each — even Apple’s biggest-budgeted movie yet, 'Killers of the Flower Moon' — had robust theatrical releases that saved streaming for months later.


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