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  • Writer's picture Sarah Ghalayini

Beyond Oppenheimer and Barbie: 10 Oscar-Nominated Films in 2024 to Look Out For

Cherry-picked for their cinematic genius, these standout contenders of the Oscar nominations have become the highlights of the contemporary film scene. From the comedic satire of “American Fiction”, to the haunting realism of “The Zones of Interest”, each film on this list possesses its own intriguing plot, stunning actor performances, and true Oscar-worthy quality. 



1) American Fiction 


Playing a disgruntled author who decides to parody the genre of racial stereotypes as a half-hearted joke, Jeffrey Wright’s acting earned this movie an Oscar nomination for the Best Lead Actor. Both witty and hilarious, "American Fiction" delves into the hypocrisies and capitalistic backdrop of modern entertainment industries whilst delivering a strikingly human performance. 



2) Barbie


An adaptation of the universal toy icon, the 2023 "Barbie" movie set off a record-breaking international trend of Barbie-core aesthetics. Teetering along the lines of sobering reality and childlike utopias, Margot Robbie’s and Ryan Gosling’s impeccable performances in this adored movie explore modern-day issues under the guise of the magical real world of Barbie Land. 



3) Anatomy of a Fall 


Curated by French filmmaker Justine Triet, this mystery-thriller centres around an author on trial for the accused murder of her husband. Nominated 5 times, this movie flawlessly captures the moral greyness that complexifies marriage and the fundamental inability to box humans into linear categories of good and evil. 



4) The Holdovers 


Featuring comedic interactions between a notoriously short-tempered teacher and a confrontational, deviant student, this movie expertly marries themes of regret, self-reflection, and human connection. After being confined together, alongside the school chef, for Christmas, the characters in this movie find their world views challenged as they journey through the plot and grow in ways unexpected.



5) Killers of the Flower Moon 


Inspired by journalist David Grann’s book detailing the Osage murders throughout the 1920’s, this film revives a piece of buried history in an attempt to unveil the corrupt secrets of the past. With a cast listing Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon” makes visceral a reality that remained tragically suppressed for over a century.



6) Maestro 


"Maestro" stands as a bold and courageous bio-film documenting the enduring relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. Its exploration of Leonard’s lifelong dedication to the art of music, which trickles into every aspect of his life, is masterfully dissected. At its heart, this Oscar-nomination analyses the significance of family bonds, romantic relationships, and sincere love. 



7) Past Lives 


In this heartache of a romance, we’re introduced to Nora, a Korean-American women living in NYC, and the intersection of her relationship to an American man named Arthur and her reintroduced childhood sweetheart Hae-Sung.  A beautiful snapshot of contemporary relationships, this superbly cinematic narrative reflects on the nuances of our life choices and questions conventional thought surrounding fate, true love, and the human condition. 



8) Poor Things 


Following a bizarre plot line that details the resurrection of a young woman living in Victorian England after her suicide by an innovative scientist, this movie is the first of its kind to hit our TV screens. As our unusual protagonist, played by Emma Stone, comes to grapple her new life, the movie unravels its most original script steeped in themes of self-revelation, human experience, and womens’ liberation. 



9) Oppenheimer 


Set during WWII, this international blockbuster and Oscar-nominated film centres around the manufacturing and distribution of weapons of mass destruction. Starring Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, and Robert Downey Jr., this movie revolutionises historical cinematography and guarantees to entrap you with its slow-burn suspense.  

 


10) The Zones of Interest 


Loosely based off a harrowing true story, this film intimately portrays the family life of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoss and his wife Hedwig. As they live out their utopian domestic vision in their house, their bountiful garden borders the hostile and barren Auschwitz prison wall, causing two juxtaposing realities to collide. As the auditory horrors of Auschwitz bleed through the prison wall, the characters are faced with confronting their own roles in society. Captured with extraordinary sensitivity, the production team of “The Zones of Interest” demonstrate a profound commitment to critiquing human complicity, apathy, and moral corruption. 

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