Nominations voting is from January 11-16, 2024, with official Oscar nominations announced January 23, 2024. Final voting is February 22-27, 2024. And finally, the 96th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 10 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2024 Oscar picks.
See our previous thoughts on what to expect at the 96th Academy Awards here.
The State of the Race
Despite all the fall film festival premieres, the biggest news on the Best Original Screenplay front is that “Barbie” has entered the race. Categorization and qualification are an ongoing subject every year when it comes to the screenplay Oscars, but it was initially assumed that because the film mines from Mattel’s iconic line of dolls, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s “Barbie” script would fall into the adapted category. That is not to say it isn’t inventive, or does not inhabit that gray area between the two screenplay categories, but it will be very notable if the Academy accepts the categorization Warner Bros. is presenting them.
Similarly, anything based on a true story gets iffy, but Alex Convery’s script for “Air,” Dustin Lance Black and Julian Breece’s script for “Rustin,” and Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer’s script for “Maestro” are examples of screenplays that already seem to have passed the sniff test determining originality. However, “Cassandro” writer-director Roger Ross Williams made a 2016 documentary about his protagonist, calling into question whether or not his script with David Teague mines too much from that project.
If there is a winner from the fall festivals, it would likely be “The Holdovers,” which won the hearts of audiences at Telluride and TIFF. Though he is not the credited screenwriter, director Alexander Payne has two screenplay Oscars under his belt, certifying his films as a must-watch for the Academy’s writers branch. A close second may be Kristoffer Borgli’s “Dream Scenario,” given its TIFF success and the Norwegian filmmaker’s breakout year with two acclaimed releases, but A24 already has a lot of its eggs in the basket for Celine Song’s “Past Lives,” a film that continues to linger in viewers’ minds.
Contenders are listed in alphabetical order below. No actor will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen the film.
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (“Asteroid City”)
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig (“Barbie”)
Alex Convery (“Air”)
David Hemingson (“The Holdovers”)
Celine Song (“Past Lives”)
Dustin Lance Black and Julian Breece (“Rustin”)
Kristoffer Borgli (“Dream Scenario”)
Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik (“May December”)
Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer (“Maestro”)
Chloe Domont (“Fair Play”)
Sean Durkin (“The Iron Claw”)
Emerald Fennell (“Saltburn”)
Arthur Harari and Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”)
John Hoberg, Brenda Hsueh, Kat Likkel, and Peter Sohn (“Elemental”)
David Scarpa (“Napoleon”)
Zach Baylin, Frank E. Flowers, and Terence Winter (“Bob Marley: One Love”)
John Carney (“Flora and Son”)
İlker Çatak & Johannes Duncker (“The Teacher’s Lounge”)
Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz (“The Creator”)
Maryam Keshavarz (“The Persian Version”)
Angus MacLachlan (“A Little Prayer”)
Christos Nikou (“Fingernails”)
A.V. Rockwell (“A Thousand and One”)
Roger Ross Williams and David Teague (“Cassandro”)
Takuma Takasaki and Wim Wenders (“Perfect Days”)