Oscars predictions: The top picks are obvious, but are there surprises in store?

Oppenheimer stars Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt, and Cillian Murphy. Credit: AP

So it’s time again to stick my neck out and predict the Oscars, as the film world’s famous faces compete for the industry’s last coveted prizes.

There would appear to be one obvious standout success story in Oppenheimer, but this is the Academy Awards and surprises are possible - remember Coda?

So, here goes.

Best film

Oppenheimer is the strong favourite to win here, capping a film season where it has rightly been lauded and garlanded.

Cillian Murphy plays physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Credit: AP

My personal favourite film is the extraordinary The Zone of Interest, a film that will always stay with me for its quiet power and brilliant craftsmanship.

It will, I think, win Best International Film for Britain this year, making history.

Best director

I think they may as well give this to Christopher Nolan now. No other director has come close this awards season, to the recognition he has got.

Despite multiple nominations, this revered British director has never won the Oscar for directing. Many people in that auditorium will be glad to see him, at last, get this.

The Zone of Interest deserves to take home best film, writes Nina Nannar. Credit: AP/A24

I’d also be happy to see Jonathan Glazer win for The Zone Of Interest. The British director has created a work of art in this film, he too deserves a win.

Best actress

I think the Academy will give this one to Lily Gladstone from Killers Of The Flower Moon, making her the first Native American woman to get this honour.

It will also send out the right message in a year when the Oscars are still in the process of tackling their diversity issues. She will certainly be a worthy winner regardless of that.

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon. Credit: AP

There is a chance that Emma Stone from Poor Things could get this - she and Lily have been dividing the spoils during the awards run-up.

My personal favourite is Britain’s Carey Mulligan. Her performance in Maestro was, I think, head and shoulders above her competition.

Best actor

This is surely Ireland’s Cillian Murphy’s to lose. He is the out-and-out favourite.

I think he will be a worthy winner but Paul Giamatti from The Holdovers would also deserve a win in my book. I’ve been cheering him on all season and he deserves to get his Oscar. It’s between the two.

Best supporting actress

If Da’Vine Joy Randolph doesn’t win this it will be a huge upset. She has been winning the awards all year for The Holdovers and rightly so.

The Holdovers' Da'Vine Joy Randolph is widely-tipped for the best actress award at the Oscars this year. Credit: AP

Watch out for Britain’s Emily Blunt in this category too. If the voters are going all-out for Oppenheimer, she could emerge the winner here.

Best supporting actor

This one of Robert Downey Jr’s to lose. The Oppenheimer star has incredibly never won an Oscar before. He has swept up all the awards this year - expect nothing different on Sunday night.

I’d also be happy to see this go to Barbie’s Ryan Gosling.

It will dominate the headlines if the box office giant that is Barbie goes away empty handed.

If this is the film world’s biggest celebration then surely the film that helped bring people back to cinemas deserves some recognition.

Ryan Gosling as Ken. Credit: PA

Either way, the one performance that everyone is talking about here in Hollywood is the one Gosling is giving on the night as he sings his Oscar-nominated song I Am Ken. Organisers have promised there are some surprises in store.

In all, I think this is a night where there will be some historic wins, where Christopher Nolan at last gets his Oscar, and where British behind-the-scenes craftsmanship - from sound to costumes to set design - comes away triumphant.

The Academy Awards ceremony will air from midnight ITV and ITVX on March 11 in the UK.

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