Oscar favorites: 'Oppenheimer' poised to have a big night at the Academy Awards

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
'Oppenheimer' leads with 13 Oscar nominations, 'Barbie' snags 8
The Academy Awards showered nominations on Christopher Nolan's blockbuster biopic, "Oppenheimer," which came away with a leading 13 noms.

With two weeks to go before the Oscars, "Oppenheimer" looks unstoppable.

Director and producer Christopher Nolan's tale of the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the birth of the atomic age won the top prize Sunday at the 35th Producers Guild of America Awards - a frequent predictor of Oscar best picture winners - the night after doing the same at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

"Oppenheimer" won the PGA's Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures over the exact same set of 10 nominees up for best picture at the March 10 Academy Awards, including " Barbie," " Poor Things " and " Killers of the Flower Moon," whose director, Martin Scorsese, was honored Sunday for his concurrent career as a producer.

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Cillian Murphy, from left, Emily Blunt, and Robert Downey Jr. arrive at the 35th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles.
Cillian Murphy, from left, Emily Blunt, and Robert Downey Jr. arrive at the 35th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles.
Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

The Zanuck Award winner has gone on to take the best picture Oscar for five of the past six years, and 12 of the past 15, including last year with " Everything, Everywhere All at Once."

From the stage at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, in the same complex where the Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre, Nolan thanked his fellow producer Charles Royen for giving him "American Prometheus," the book that led to "Oppenheimer," and "starting a chain reaction that's spread all over the world."

Earlier in the show, Robert Downey Jr. called it "the highest-grossing film about theoretical physics yet made."

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Downey on Saturday won best supporting actor at the SAG Awards, where "Oppenheimer" also won best ensemble, part of an awards season sweep that also included wins at the Golden Globes and Directors Guild Awards.

Who are the favorites to win the Academy Awards?

Nolan's "Oppenheimer" is the frontrunner for best picture. Nolan, the best director favorite, is also poised to win his first Oscar.

The best actress category could be a nail-biter between Lily Gladstone ("Killers of the Flower Moon") and Emma Stone ("Poor Things"). If Gladstone were to win, she would be the first Native American to win an Oscar.

MORE | 'Poor Things' in the spotlight with 11 Oscar nominations: 'Beyond what they thought was possible'

"Poor Things" is one of the most buzzed about movies this Oscar season with 11 nominations including acting nods for stars Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo.

Best actor, too, could be a close contest between Cillian Murphy ("Oppenheimer") and Paul Giamatti ("The Holdovers"). Both would be first-time winners.

Giamatti's co-star Da'Vine Joy Randolph is favored to win best-supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr. ("Oppenheimer") is expected to win best-supporting actor. His closest competition is considered Ryan Gosling for "Barbie."

March 10 is Oscar Sunday! Watch the 2024 Oscars live on ABC.

Red carpet coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET 10 a.m. PT with "Countdown to Oscars: On The Red Carpet Live." At 4 p.m. ET 1 p.m. PT, live coverage continues with "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars," hosted by George Pennacchio with Roshumba Williams, Leslie Lopez and Rachel Brown.

Watch all the action on the red carpet live on ABC, streaming live on OnTheRedCarpet.com and on the On the Red Carpet Facebook and YouTube pages.

The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past years.

The Oscars are followed by an all-new episode of "Abbott Elementary."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.