Skip to content

Get ready for tonight's 96th Academy Awards

Who will win an award? Which races are the close ones to watch? Here's our annual guide to the year's biggest entertainment event.
94th Academy Awards | American Broadcasting Company
94th Academy Awards | American Broadcasting Company

Who's ready for a night of joking, cajoling, and more Jimmy Kimmel? This year's 96th Academy Awards being presented tonight, Sunday, March 10, 2024, and Oakville News is once again here to help with your Oscars ballots.

We'll answer big questions like "Who's likely to actually to win?" to "Have I actually heard of any of these movies?" and "What should I really care about?" to everything in between.

Let's be honest - it's been a rough go for new movies over the last four years. The one-two punch of the COVID pandemic and then last year's writers and actors strikes disrupting production have made movie going unpredictable and overly complicated.

There is some good news: now that there are regular new releases, new productions being ordered, and all the health crises and strikes are over, it seems we the audience can finally go back to just enjoying ourselves.

2023 was an incredible year for new movies, including several blockbuster hits that were big crowd-pleasers and made for some truly great memories. Heck, while "Barbenheimer" was clearly the event of the summer, that's just a small part of the dozens of truly great new movies that came to the multiplex this year.

In the scope of the entire world, what with issues of greater social relevancy (like politics or conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza) abounding, it's harder than ever for the Academy Awards to rationalize their worthiness for being top-billed news.

With recently dwindling viewership and the opportunity to capitalize on well-known titles this year, there's high stakes for the Oscars to have a good show tonight. Despite the out-of-touch producing team and the rocky state of the movie business, I’m still expecting tonight to be fun.

It can be easy to feel cynical about another award show, but this is the Oscars - it really is an honour and a big deal to be a winner. And yes, it really also is an honour just to be nominated. My advice is to take the show's spirit seriously and the literal show less so. You’ll relax and have a lot more fun.

Oscars ballot cheat-sheet

So who’s going to bring home a statuette? That’s always harder to guess than your might suspect. If you want some help filling out an Oscar ballot, my annual cheat sheet is listed below.

I saw over 150 movies last year, including over almost all of the nominated feature-length movies at tonight’s show. After seeing many of last year's biggest hits, let me help you figure out the likeliest winners.

It’s worth remembering that predicting the Oscars isn’t about who you want to win. It’s about who you think the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science actually voted to win.

And not that I like to brag, but my track record is pretty good. Back in 2022 I was almost perfect (having missed just one category), and last year I ended up correctly predicting 17 of the 23 winners - and that's a slow year for me.

Unlike last year where most of the prizes were concentrated on a few movies, only two are likely to win multiple awards - and one will walk away the big winner of the year.

Here are my predictions for the movies I believe will win each prize tonight. You can use my background and predictions to help you win your Oscar ballot tonight.

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures


  • Best Picture
  • Best Director for Christopher Nolan
  • Best Actor for Cillian Murphy
  • Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr.
  • Best Original Score for Ludwig Göransson
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Sound

In a year full of inspiring, exciting blockbusters, there was none more grand in scale and engrossing as cinema than Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. There are many adult history dramas with enough spectacle to make nearly a billion dollars at the box office.

Technically spectacular and intellectually fascinating, this has been the leader among audiences and voters since its premiere last July.. It's the undisputed frontrunner, and even if it loses Best Picture in an upset, it will surely win multiple awards over the night. Director, Supporting Actor and Cinematography are the three near-certain locks.

Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures


  • Best Costume Design
  • "What Was I Made For?" (Best Original Song)

In second place (only in final wins) this year should be Barbie - the comedy counterpart from last July that's gone on to become one of the biggest comedy movies of all time.

There's a chance it might squeak out surprise wins in Adapted Screenplay (for Greta Gerwig) or for Production Design, but costumes and song are the likeliest wins.

Read Oakville News' review for both Oppenheimer and Barbie from last summer here.

Listed below is each of the remaining awards and my predicted winner for them, ranked in order of likelihood (with 1 being the most secure prediction and 13 being the most risky.) Some of these movies also have full reviews here with Oakville News - to read them, click on the highlighted movie title.

Paramount Pictures / Apple TV+
Paramount Pictures / Apple TV+
  1. Da'Vine Joy Randolph for The Holdovers (Best Supporting Actress)
  2. The Zone of Interest (Best International Film)
  3. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Best Animated Feature)
  4. 20 Days in Maripol (Best Documentary Feature)
  5. Justine Triet and Arthur Harari for Anatomy of a Fall (Best Original Screenplay)
  6. Poor Things (Best Production Design)
  7. Maestro (Best Makeup and Hairstyling)
  8. Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon (Best Actress)
  9. Godzilla Minus One (Best Visual Effects)
  10. Cord Jefferson for American Fiction (Best Adapted Screenplay)
  11. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Best Live Action Short)
  12. WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko (Best Animated Short)
  13. The Last Repair Shop (Best Documentary Short)
Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation

For anyone who's looking for Oakville's best venue to watch the show this year, Film.Ca Cinemas is again hosting their annual Oscars party on the big screen, hosted by CEO Jeff Knoll. It's a great party and truly the best way in town to see the broadcast. (Admission is free or by optional donation to their community Movie Angel Fund, providing free tickets to residents who can't normally afford to go.)

Tonight’s ceremony begins airing on various networks at 7:00 p.m. (an hour earlier than previous years), but the red carpet pre-show begins on most channels at 6:00 p.m.

The aforementioned Oscars viewing party at Oakville's Film.Ca Cinemas, also starts at 6:00 p.m., though reserving a spot online in advance is recommended to guarantee a seat. (The event fills up every year, but often has seats until an hour or two before showtime.)

As Bette Davis said in the 1951 Best Picture winner All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts: It’s going to be a bumpy night!”