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    Sunday, April 14, 2024

    Going for gold: Tonight’s Oscars will be given to ...

    This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from "Oppenheimer." (Universal Pictures via AP)

    Twas the year of “Barbenheimer,” and you can bet each of those two uber-popular films will get an award or two or 12 when Oscars are handed out tonight.

    But there will be plenty more winners on tap when the show airs at 8 p.m. on ABC. As a movie fan and The Day’s arts editor, I’m offering my predictions of what will happen. That said, I’m hoping for at least one big surprise — that’s always the best part of awards shows.

    Best picture: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” “The Zone of Interest”

    People keep predicting the demise of movie theaters and feature films, but this list proves that at least the quality of the releases is remaining high. That said, if anything besides “Oppenheimer” takes home the top prize, it’ll be a shock. It is epic and has won pretty much all the awards leading up to this point.

    Actress in a leading role Annette Bening (“Nyad”), Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”), Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”), Emma Stone (“Poor Things”)

    This comes down to Gladstone and Stone. Gladstone gave a grounded, deeply felt performance and was the heart of her movie. And, shockingly, she’s the first Indigenous American female to be nominated for a best-actress Oscar. Stone enthusiastically dove into what might end up being the wildest, most multifaceted role of her career. For a while, it looked as though Stone’s go-for-broke turn would nab her a second Academy Award (her first was for “La La Land”), but now the momentum is in Gladstone’s favor. She’ll win — and deservedly so. It’s hard to imagine “Killers of the Flower Moon” without her.

    Actor in a leading role: Bradley Cooper (“Maestro”), Colman Domingo (“Rustin”), Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”), Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”), Jeffrey Wright (“American Fiction”)

    Murphy will triumph. His coiled intensity — not to mention those expressive ice-blue eyes — held the center of the wide-ranging, time-jumping, ever-moving “Oppenheimer.”

    Actress in a supporting role: Emily Blunt (“Oppenheimer”), Danielle Brooks (“The Color Purple”), America Ferrera (“Barbie”), Jodie Foster (“Nyad”), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”)

    Da’Vine is divine. She got to play so many layers with her character, and she handled them all beautifully.

    Actor in a supporting role: Sterling K. Brown (“American Fiction”), Robert De Niro (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”), Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”), Mark Ruffalo (“Poor Things”)

    Downey was great in “Oppenheimer,” sure, but he’ll win as much for others reasons: particularly for coming out of his lucrative but increasingly uninspired turns in the Marvel Universe to give one of the best performances of his career in arguably the best movie of the year. Phew. In my secret heart of hearts, though, I would vote for Gosling. His uninhibited doofy-ness (so frickin’ funny) in “Barbie” made Ken’s journey to the patriarchy and back again one of the reasons the movie became a hit and a cultural-zeitgeist moment.

    Best director: Jonathan Glazer (“The Zone of Interest”), Yorgos Lanthimos (“Poor Things”), Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”), Martin Scorsese (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”)

    Nolan, all the way. Not only was “Oppenheimer” a towering achievement, but Nolan’s career is flush with amazing feature films (from “Memento” to the “Dark Knight” trilogy to “Dunkirk”) and he has never won an Oscar. The Academy will right that wrong tonight.

    Music (original song): “The Fire Inside” from “Flamin’ Hot”; “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie”; “It Never Went Away” from “American Symphony”; “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon”; “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie”

    I reeeeeeally want “I’m Just Ken” to win an Oscar. But voters at the Oscars and Grammys seem to love Billie Eilish’s somnambulant style, so the award is more likely to go to “What Was I Made For.”

    Music (original score): “American Fiction,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Oppenheimer,” “Poor Things”

    “Oppenheimer’s” eerie soundtrack provided a perfect aural representation of the main character’s thoughts and point of view. It’s a lock.

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