Oppenheimer leads Oscar nominations - with big nods for Barbie too

Oppenheimer leads the nominations for this year's Oscars – with big nods also for box-office rival Barbie.

Christopher Nolan's epic exploring the true story of the first atomic bomb is up for 13 Oscars, including best director and best picture, while Greta Gerwig's feminist take on Barbie has eight nods, including best picture.

The two polar opposite films sparked the Barbenheimer phenomenon when they were both released on the same day in July last year, with many viewers watching them back-to-back. While both were huge hits, it was Barbie that won the box office battle, going on to bring in more than $1bn - and fans have this year been following their progress throughout awards season.

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In the best picture category, they are up against American Fiction, Anatomy Of A Fall, The Holdovers, Killers Of The Flower Moon, Maestro, Past Lives, Poor Things and The Zone Of Interest.

Oppenheimer stars Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr and Emily Blunt are all up for acting awards, with Barbie's Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera also in the running - but Margot Robbie did not make the best actress shortlist.

Stars including Emma Stone (Poor Things), Bradley Cooper (Maestro) and Robert De Niro (Killers of The Flower Moon) are also up for acting prizes, with Carey Mulligan (Maestro) and Blunt representing the British hopefuls.

The big nominees:

  • Oppenheimer - 13

  • Poor Things - 11

  • Killers Of The Flower Moon - 10

  • Barbie - 8

  • Maestro - 7

Colman Domingo is recognised for his portrayal of activist Bayard Rustin, adviser to Martin Luther King Jr, as is Jeffrey Wright for his performance as a frustrated novelist in American Fiction. They will compete against Paul Giamatti, who has won plaudits for his performance as a cranky prep school teacher forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a troubled student in The Holdovers.

In the best actress category, other nominees include Sandra Huller for Anatomy Of A Fall, Annette Bening for Nyad and Lily Gladstone for Killers Of The Flower Moon.

With Hollywood back on track after a tricky period that saw both actors and writers striking in 2023, the Oscars ceremony in March will celebrate the best films of the year - and marks something of a return for box office recognition after years of disconnect between the films people are watching in cinemas and those winning the Academy Awards.

Oppenheimer's success in the Oscars race comes just days after it dominated the shortlists for the BAFTAs, and following big wins at the Golden Globes at the beginning of January.

Irish actor Murphy, who plays J Robert Oppenheimer, is among the first-time nominees, along with Blunt.

Nolan has previously received nominations for Inception, Memento and Dunkirk, but a triumph in 2024 would be his first Oscar. He will go head-to-head with another British director, Jonathan Glazer, for his film The Zone Of Interest, about a German family who live next to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Oppenheimer's 13 nods also include recognition for its costume design, make-up and hair, and music.

First-time acting nominees

  • Cillian Murphy

  • Emily Blunt

  • America Ferrera

  • Lily Gladstone

  • Jeffrey Wright

  • Colman Domingo

  • Da'Vine Joy Randolph

  • Sandra Huller

  • Danielle Brooks

  • Sterling K Brown

Barbie's eight nominations include two in the best song category - for Billie Eilish's What Was I Made For and Gosling's I'm Just Ken, as well as for costume design and adapted screenplay for Gerwig and her husband Noah Baumbach.

Its inclusion in the best picture category, along with Justine Triet's Anatomy Of A Fall and Celine Song's Past Lives, means the group contains three films written and directed by women for the first time - although only Triet made the best director shortlist.

Both Yorgos Lanthimos' Frankenstein riff Poor Things and Martin Scorsese's Osage epic Killers Of The Flower Moon were also widely celebrated, landing 11 and 10 nominations respectively.

Killers Of The Flower Moon star Gladstone is the first Native American to be nominated for best actress, and Scorsese is nominated for best director for the 10th time. While De Niro is shortlisted for his supporting role, star Leonardo DiCaprio did not make the final five for best actor.

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Notable omissions

Movies that missed out include the British film Saltburn, which went viral thanks to its graphic sexual scenes, and the critically acclaimed All Of Us Strangers, starring Irish actors Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal.

Both fared well in the BAFTA shortlists, but failed to cut through with Oscars voters.

Robbie and DiCaprio were the biggest names missing from the acting categories, although with just five slots and tough competition, neither had been considered dead-certs in the run-up to the announcement.

An early surge of support for newcomer Charles Melton in the best supporting actor category for drama May December, about the aftermath of a scandalous relationship, failed to result in an Oscar nomination, while Poor Things actor Willem Dafoe also missed out.

The Oscars will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 10 March, airing overnight into 11 March in the UK.