Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Oscars Favorites: The Hoya’s Top Picks for the 2024 Academy Awards


The Oscars aren’t the only highly prestigious and competitive film award given out today — with our columnists, writers and editors covering 2023’s best movies throughout the year, it’s time to reveal The Hoya’s own picks for the year’s top films. Our staff voted on their picks for 16 Oscar categories ahead of the real thing, which airs at 7 p.m. EDT Mar. 10. 

Best Picture

Move over “Moonlight” and “La La Land,” there’s a new contested Best Picture winner in town. This year, The Hoya’s vote is perfectly split between “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s earth-shattering biographical thriller, and “Past Lives,” Celine Song’s heartbreakingly beautiful romantic drama that was her directorial film debut.

Best Actor

No surprises here, Cillian Murphy has The Hoya’s vote for Best Actor for his titular role in “Oppenheimer.” Murphy, a recurring face in past Nolan movies, plays J. Robert Oppenheimer with a captivating intensity that captures one of history’s most controversial geniuses, a man made of equal parts charisma and staggering hubris.    

Best Actress

For her grounded, magnetic performance as Mollie in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the Hoya votes Lily Gladstone for Best Actress. The first Native American woman to be nominated in the category, Gladstone had been considering quitting acting in 2020 when she received a Zoom invite from director Martin Scorcese. That call clearly went well.

Best Supporting Actor

As Cliff, the main character’s estranged brother in the biting satirical drama “American Fiction,” Sterling K. Brown’s spirited performance earns him The Hoya’s vote for Best Supporting Actor. Cliff, whose exuberance masks his rapid spiral, acts as not only an excellent foil to his brother but a deeply compelling character in his own right. 

Best Supporting Actress

“The Holdovers” bucks the saccharine inclinations of many a holiday classic to deliver a nuanced portrayal of grief and loneliness, in large part due to Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s performance as bereaved head cook Mary Lamb. Balancing out the film’s main trio with humor and heart, Randolph is The Hoya’s pick for Best Supporting Actress.

Best Director

The three-hour “Oppenheimer” was produced on a staggering scale, weaving together two separate timelines, dozens of characters and deceptively dense exposition to become one of the most highly acclaimed films of the year. For his role at the helm of this improbably tight production, The Hoya selects Christopher Nolan for Best Director.

Best International Feature Film

Another toss-up, this time between “Society of the Snow” and “The Zone of Interest,” two contenders for Best International Feature Film representing Spain and the United Kingdom, respectively. One is a harrowing tale of survival, the other a nauseating examination of the mundanity of evil; both are horrifyingly well-executed films that have more than earned their acclaim.

Best Animated Feature Film

Narrowly beating out Studio Ghibli’s “The Boy and the Heron,” Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is The Hoya’s pick for Best Animated Feature Film. Though it only tells half of a larger story, the film’s groundbreakingly dynamic animation style and colorful ensemble of characters make it a force to be reckoned with.

Best Original Screenplay

For their work on the French drama “Anatomy of a Fall,” The Hoya selects Justine Triet and Arthur Harari for Best Original Screenplay. With a tightly-woven story that delights in uncertainty and moral ambiguity, the film focuses on a writer who claims innocence in her husband’s death.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

From Willem Dafoe’s patchwork face to Emma Stone’s cascading raven locks, “Poor Things” delivers striking visual designs for its characters, earning it The Hoya’s vote for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Best Costume Design

With their widespread popularity as Halloween costumes this past year, it should come as no surprise that the outfits in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” have won The Hoya’s vote for Best Costume Design. From Margot Robbie’s hot pink cowgirl look to Ryan Gosling’s Mojo Dojo Casa House attire, the costumes in “Barbie” are iconic interpretations of the classic dolls. 

Best Visual Effects

For bringing to life the beloved characters and sprawling alien landscapes of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” The Hoya selects Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams and Theo Bialek as the winners for Best Visual Effects.  

Best Original Score

The relentless, string-heavy soundtrack of “Oppenheimer” wins Ludwig Göransson The Hoya’s pick for Best Original Score. Göransson’s orchestra highlights the most tension-filled scenes of the film, shifting between sentimental and spine-chilling at the drop of a wide-brimmed hat.

Best Original Song

The Hoya votes Billie Eilish’s breathy ballad “What Was I Made For?” as this year’s Best Original Song. Co-written with Eilish’s brother Finneas O’Connell, the track plays during a climatic moment of “Barbie” and contrasts with the rest of the film’s more upbeat soundtrack.

Best Sound

The audio plays a critical role in “The Zone of Interest,” The Hoya’s pick for Best Sound. Contrasting with the film’s bucolic visuals, the nightmarish sound effects that puncture the illusion of tranquility are one of the only windows into the true horror of the Auschwitz death camp, which operates just beyond the film’s main narrative.

Best Cinematography

Closing out the list where it began, The Hoya selects “Oppenheimer” for Best Cinematography. Overseen by Dutch-Swedish cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema and split between sequences in color and monochrome, the film delivers jaw-dropping visuals that capture the unprecedented power of the atomic bomb.

Bonus: Biggest Snub

Though critical discourse has understandably surrounded the exclusion of “Barbie” from categories like Best Director and Best Actress, The Hoya narrowly presents the invented award for Biggest Snub to Charles Melton for Best Supporting Actor in “May December.” Melton’s portrayal of Joe Yoo, a man who married the woman that had an affair with him when he was underage, provides devastating insight into generational trauma and abuse.


Read More of The Hoya’s Coverage of the Nominees:

‘Oppenheimer’: Christopher Nolan’s Technical and Thematic Masterwork

‘Past Lives’ is a Striking Foray Into What Could’ve Been

‘The Holdovers’ is a Loving Retread of Familiar Ground

‘La sociedad de la nieve’ Horrifies and Impresses in Equal Measure

‘The Zone of Interest’: Monstrosity in the Mundane

Room For Improvement, ‘The Boy and the Heron’ Is Fine, I Guess

HOT SUMMER TAKES | The Frustratingly Incomplete Narrative of ‘Across the Spider-Verse’

‘Poor Things’ Is a Sexually Daring Magnum Opus

‘Barbie’ is a Candy-Coated Exploration of Feminine Identity

‘May December’ is Worthy of Its Plaudits

American Symphony: Sublime Scenes on Human Duality

‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ Continues an Unprecedented Streak of High-Quality Action Flicks

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About the Contributor
Jasmine Criqui
Jasmine Criqui, Senior Guide Editor
Jasmine Criqui is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from San Diego, Calif., studying government and history with a minor in journalism. She has read the Wikipedia summary for “Citizen Kane.” [email protected]

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