Breaking News January 23, 2024: Oscar Nominations Led by ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ and ‘Poor Things,’ Plus Surprising Snubs

Oscar nominations for 2023 films

Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Poor Things dominated the Oscar nominations, announced this morning in Los Angeles.

Oppenheimer led with 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Christopher Nolan), Best Actor (Cillian Murphy), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Downey Jr.), and Best Supporting Actress (Emily Blunt).

Poor Things came in second with 11 nominations, including 2 for Emma Stone: Best Actress and as a producer for Best Picture. The movie's controversial depiction of children and a character with the literal mind of a child in sexual situations didn't seem to faze Academy voters in the slightest because… Hollywood.

Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon scored 10 nominations, although, oddly, not for its screenplay. The Academy — acutely aware of past inclusivity problems — proudly trumpeted that Lily Gladstone became the first Native American nominated for Best Actress.

Other notable nominations include Sterling K. Brown for Best Actor (which drew enthusiastic applause from the early morning L.A. crowd), J.A. Bayona's Society of the Snow for Best International Feature, Barbie‘s Ryan Gosling and America Ferrara for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, two Barbie songs for Best Original Song, and a couple of technical nods for the criminally underappreciated The Creator.

Click here to see how our Oscar predictions measured up, and click here for a full list of Oscar nominees.

The 96th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ABC.

Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Greta Gerwig, and ‘Saltburn’ Top List of Oscar Snubs

Barbie snubbed in some categories at Oscars
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Those expecting Barbenheimer to spill over into the Oscar nominations were likely shocked this morning as Barbie got snubbed in several key categories.

Despite scoring nominations in eight Oscar categories, Barbie got snubbed for Best Director (Greta Gerwig) and Best Actress (Margot Robbie). Perhaps Academy voters felt that the most profitable movie of 2023 happened by magic or that the woman who played Stereotypical Barbie seemed a little too, well, stereotypical of a nominee in a guild preoccupied with appearing inclusive.

The same logic applies to Leonardo DiCaprio's acclaimed performance in Killers of the Flower Moon, which didn't receive an Oscar nomination. DiCaprio — already an Oscar winner — has to sit this one out and let Colman Domingo, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Cooper, and Cillian Murphy have a shot.

Other Oscar snubs include no nominations for Best Supporting Actress for Julianne Moore for May December, Best Supporting Actor for Charles Melton for May December, Best Actress for Fantasia Barrino for The Color Purple, or Best Adapted Screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon. Also, even though Saltburn desperately tried to shock viewers and succeeded in becoming a watercooler moment for that notorious bathtub scene, the overhyped Emerald Fennell-directed movie starring Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan received zero Oscar nominations.

Martin Scorsese Just Passed Steven Spielberg as the Living Director With the Most Oscar Nominations

Martin Scorsese now has more Oscar noms than Steven Spielberg
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Montclair Film, CC BY 2.0; By The Oscars, Fair use; By Martin Kraft – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Martin Scorsese just passed Steven Spielberg as the living director with the most Oscar nominations for Best Director. Scorsese received his 10th Best Director Oscar nomination today for Killers of the Flower Moon.

In addition to Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese got a Best Director nomination for Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Irishman. He won Best Director once — for The Departed.

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, “Scorsese’s 10 nominations make him the second most-nominated director of all time, behind only William Wyler (who holds the record with 12 nominations and died in 1981). Meanwhile, Spielberg is in third place with nine nominations, stretching from 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind to 2022’s The Fabelmans. He’s won the category twice, for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.”

In a November 2023 interview with EW, Scorsese spoke about bringing the Osage Reign of Terror to the screen in Killers of the Flower Moon. “One of the things we were discussing was the fact that for God’s sake, after everything, it becomes entertainment. And you can say, well, this film becomes entertainment too, in which case then we have to take the responsibility. We hope that it’s entertainment with some depth and enrichment that maybe can approach some kind of truth.”

Oliver Stone Backpedals on ‘Barbie’

Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0; Warner Bros. Pictures.

A day after news recirculated with Oliver Stone's dismissive comments about Ryan Gosling “wasting his time” in Barbie, the estimable director has backpedaled. Ryan Gosling just received an Oscar nomination this morning for his performance as Ken in Barbie.

In a statement by Stone reported by Entertainment Weekly, the Platoon director clarified that he didn't even see Barbie at the time he dissed it and Ryan Gosling for appearing in it. “[At] the time, I was busy promoting my nuclear documentary in Europe and had little to no knowledge of the project beyond its title,” said Stone about Barbie. “I was able to see Barbie in a theater back in July and appreciated the film for its originality and its themes. I found the filmmakers’ approach certainly different than what I expected. I apologize for speaking ignorantly.”

Stone continued, “Greta Gerwig’s 2017 film Lady Bird was one of my favorites of that year. Barbie’s box office greatly boosted the morale of our business, which was welcome. I wish Greta and the entire Barbie team good fortune at the Oscars.”

Colin Firth To Star as a Grieving Father in Drama Series ‘Lockerbie’ About Pan Am Flight 103

Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Colin Firth, CC BY-SA 2.0; By Air Accident Investigation Branch – Air Accident Investigation BranchReport No: 2/1990, OGL 2.

Colin Firth will play grieving father Dr. Jim Swire on the Peacock series Lockerbie. The real-life Dr. Swire lost his daughter when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members on board. In addition, 11 more people on the ground lost their lives due to falling debris.

As reported by Deadline, the limited series will explore events before and after the disaster, providing “an intimate account of a man, a husband, and a father who risks everything in memory of his daughter and the unflinching pursuit of truth and justice.”

The drama based on The Lockerbie Bombing: A Father’s Search for Justice, cowritten by Swire, will reportedly start production early this year.

John Williams Has More Oscar Nominations Than Anyone Alive

John Williams
Image Credit: Chris Devers – CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wiki Commons.

John Williams, 91, is not only the oldest Oscar nominee ever, he is also the most-nominated person alive. Williams received his 54th Oscar nomination this morning for Best Original Score for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

According to Entertainment Weekly, only the late Walt Disney has more Oscar nominations than Williams with 59 during Disney's lifetime. Out of Williams' 54 nominations, he has won 5: Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Schindler's List. Note that except for Fiddler on the Roof, Steven Spielberg directed all of those movies.

At this year's Academy Awards, Williams competes for an Oscar against American Fiction (Laura Karpman), Killers of the Flower Moon (Robbie Robertson), Oppenheimer (Ludwig Göransson), and Poor Things (Jerskin Fendrix).

Trailer for ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender' Netflix Series Drops

Image Credit: Netflix.

Netflix dropped the first trailer for the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Season one adapts the story from Nickelodeon's animated Avatar: The Last Airbender series.

The official synopsis reads: “Water. Earth. Fire. Air. The four nations once lived in harmony, with the Avatar, master of all four elements, keeping peace between them. But everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked and wiped out the Air Nomads, the first step taken by the firebenders towards conquering the world. With the current incarnation of the Avatar yet to emerge, the world has lost hope.

“But like a light in the darkness, hope springs forth when Aang, a young Air Nomad — and the last of his kind — reawakens to take his rightful place as the next Avatar. Alongside his newfound friends Sokka and Katara, siblings and members of the Southern Water Tribe, Aang embarks on a fantastical, action-packed quest to save the world and fight back against the fearsome onslaught of Fire Lord Ozai. But with a driven Crown Prince Zuko determined to capture them, it won’t be an easy task. They’ll need the help of the many allies and colorful characters they meet along the way.”

Got that? Great!

Showrunner Albert Kim told Entertainment Weekly, “We don't start the show the way the animated series starts. That was a conscious decision to show people this is not the animated series…. We had to sometimes unravel storylines and remix them in a new way to make sense for a serialized drama. So I'm very curious to see what'll happen in terms of reaction to that.”

Avatar: The Last Airbender premieres on Netflix February 22. Click here to watch the trailer.

‘Star Trek' and ‘Alien Nation' Actor Gary Graham Dies at 73

Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Keith McDuffee from Northborough, MA, USA – Gary Graham (7596962654).jpg, CC BY-SA 2.5; Paramount Network Television.

Actor Gary Graham — who appeared on several Star Trek series as well as Alien Nation — has passed away at the age of 73.

Deadline reports that his ex-wife, Susan Lavelle, posted the following on Facebook: “It is with deep profound sadness to say that Gary Graham, my ex-husband, amazing actor and father of our beautiful only child together, Haylee Graham, has passed away today. We are completely devastated, especially our daughter Haley. His wife, Becky, was by his side.” Lavelle reportedly met Graham when she was 20 and he starred on Alien Nation. Lavelle continued, “Thank you for our journey and thank you for the gifts you left me in acting, my love of horses, and most importantly, our daughter.”

Best known for playing Vulcan ambassador Soval on Star Trek: Enterprise, Graham also guest-starred on many TV shows and appeared in the movies All the Right Moves and The Hollywood Knights.

‘Godzilla Minus One' Becomes First ‘Godzilla' Movie in History To Receive an Oscar Nomination

Godzilla: Minus One
Image Credit: Toho.

It only took 70 years, but the Godzilla franchise got its first Oscar nomination today. Godzilla Minus One — the 37th Godzilla film — received an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Godzilla Minus One director and VFX supervisor Takashi Yamazaki said in a statement, “For nearly 40 years I have been making films while admiring the artistry of Hollywood Visual Effects, and I feel that I have finally come this far. I had not set my sights on being nominated, but I am very happy to have been brought to this place … I think it is a wonderful day for Godzilla!” Click here to watch the Godzilla Minus One team react to their Oscar nomination.

Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color premieres in theaters stateside on Friday, January 26. Both the black-and-white version and the original color version will end their theatrical runs on February 1.

Anne Hathaway Walks Away From ‘Vanity Fair' Photoshoot in Support of Striking Workers

Get Smart (2008)
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Devil Wears Prada star Anne Hathaway left a Vanity Fair photoshoot to show solidarity with striking Condé Nast Union members. The union initiated a 24-hour walkout to protest companywide layoffs and other cost-cutting measures.

Hathaway bolted from the photoshoot before the photographer snapped a single photo of the Oscar winner. “They hadn’t even started taking photos yet,” a source told Variety. “Once Anne was made aware of what was going on, she just got up from hair and makeup and left.” Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch announced last November that the company will lay off more than 300 employees and take other cost-reduction measures.

Condé Nast Union posted on X, “If Runway had a union The Devil Wears Prada would’ve been 30 seconds long. Thank you Anne Hathaway for not crossing our picket line.”

‘Squid Game' Season Two To Drop Later This Year

Image Credit: Netflix.

The second season of Squid Game — the South Korean series, not the game show — will air on Netflix sometime later this year.

Deadline reports that Netflix wrote in its investors letter, “Looking ahead, despite last year’s strikes pushing back the launch of some titles, we have a big, bold slate for 2024.” In addition to season two of Squid Game, that “bold slate” also includes second seasons of The Diplomat and Empress, as well as the third season of Bridgerton.

Lee Byung-hun returns as the Front Man in season two of Squid Game, along with returning actors Wi Ha-jun as the police detective and Gong Yoo as the man who recruits players for the game. If you watched the first season of Squid Game, you know to expect many new cast members due to the deadly nature of the game itself.

Johnny Marr Not Okay With Donald Trump Using a Song by the Smiths at His Rallies

Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By University of Salford Press Office – Derived from File:Johnny Marr University of Salford 2012.jpg (cropped and straightened), original source Flickr: Johnny Marr 9, CC BY 2.0.

Legendary Smiths guitarist turned solo artist Johnny Marr is not okay with Donald Trump playing the Smiths song “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” at MAGA rallies. Marr joins Adele, Aerosmith, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Tom Petty, Prince's estate, and the Village People in not wanting their music used by Trump.

In an X post, Marr tweeted, “Ahh…right…OK. I never in a million years would’ve thought this could come to pass. Consider this sh-t shut right down right now.”

As reported by Deadline, Marr wrote “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” with Morrissey 40 years ago. While Morrissey has recently stirred up controversy by aligning himself with certain right-wing politicians, Manchester-born Marr is not down with conservatives in his own country or on this side of the pond.