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Cinema Chat: 2024 Oscar noms announced with snubs and surprises, plus new movies and events at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor

Stefani Reynolds
AFP via Getty Images


Late-night star Jimmy Kimmel will host the Oscars for the fourth time on Sunday, March 10, at 7 p.m. ET.

The films leading the nominations were: “Oppenheimer,” earned 13 nominations. Followed closely behind by “Poor Things” with 11 nominations. “Killers of the Flower Moon,” received 10 nominations. Both “Oppenheimer” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” are drawn from painful chapters of American history and their foreboding subject matter seemed to resonate with current strands in America society.

Women Directors Have Three Best Picture Nominees, Setting An Oscar Record

For the first time, three best picture contenders — “Barbie,” “Anatomy of a Fall” and “Past Lives” — were directed by women. However, only one of those filmmakers, Justine Triet, earned a best director nomination. “Barbie,” last year’s biggest box office hit, earned 8 nominations — even as Greta Gerwig, the film’s director, and Margot Robbie, its star and producer, were both shut out.

The Best Picture nominees are: “Oppenheimer,” “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Poor Things,” “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “The Holdovers,” “Maestro,” “Past Lives,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

Best Actor will be a race between Paul Giamatti in “The Holdovers”; Cillian Murphy, who portrays J. Robert Oppenheimer in “Oppenheimer”; Bradley Cooper, who directed himself as composer Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro”; Colman Domingo, who embodies Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin in “Rustin”; and Jeffrey Wright, who plays an underappreciated novelist engaged in an elaborate ruse in “American Fiction” (currently playing at the State).

Best Actress is a contest between “Killers of the Flower Moon’s” Lily Gladstone, who is the first Native American performer to be nominated for the prize; Emma Stone in “Poor Things”; Annette Bening for her performance in “Nyad”; Sandra Hüller in “Anatomy of a Fall”; and Carey Mulligan as Felicia Montealegre in “Maestro.”

“Barbie’s” America Ferrera, whose monologue about the unfair expectations society places on women drew cheers in screenings, scored a surprise best supporting actress nod; and “American Fiction’s” Sterling K. Brown nabbed an unexpected best supporting actor nomination.

The Oscars come at a challenging time for the movie business. Wall Street has soured on the economics of streaming as investors no so long ago thought streaming was the key to future movie fortunes. Now they believe disrupters like Netflix are not profitable enough, which is also devastating for Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney and Paramount, who spent lavishly to build their own streaming services. A return to theatrical exhibition is again viewed as an essential element of a movie’s ultimate success.

2024 Oscar Nominations Snubs and Surprises

Snub: Greta Gerwig, “Barbie” – Once again, Greta Gerwig has been snubbed in the Best Director category. The history-making “Barbie” auteur made a billion dollars at the box office but didn’t land a Best Director Oscar nomination. Instead, Gerwig and partner Noah Baumbach did get a Best Adapted Screenplay nod, although the “adapted” quality is debatable, as Judd Apatow previously argued.

Snub: Margot Robbie, “Barbie” – What’s “Barbie” without Barbie herself? Margot Robbie was snubbed in the Best Actress category for her lead turn in the film. However, the LuckyChap founder is recognized as a producer for “Barbie” in the Best Picture category. Robbie’s co-star Ryan Gosling received a Best Supporting Actor nomination and had a thing or two to say about Gerwig and Robbie being snubbed.

Snub: Charles Melton, “May December” — Charles Melton has all but swept the awards categories leading up to the Oscar nominations (sans receiving a BAFTA nomination) for his supporting role in “May December.” Melton missing out on a Best Supporting Actor nod is among the many surprises in the 2024 nominations.

Surprise: America Ferrera, “Barbie” — Sure, America Ferrera’s “Barbie” speech went viral, and she landed a Critics Choice Award career honor, but the actress wasn’t exactly a frontrunner for the Best Supporting Actress category. However, most consider this a pleasant surprise, but Gerwig, especially, and Robbie should have nominated as well!

Snub: Penelope Cruz, “Ferrari” — Penelope Cruz’s moving performance in Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” wasn’t enough to land an Academy Award nomination, with the film itself being mostly iced out of the ceremony.

Snub: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Killers of the Flower Moon”— Leonardo DiCaprio’s continued collaboration with Martin Scorsese did not yield a Best Actor nomination, with DiCaprio’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” co-stars Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone instead being recognized in their respective Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress categories.

Snub: Greta Lee, “Past Lives” — Greta Lee’s lead role in Celine Song’s “Past Lives” proved to miss the mark for the Best Actress category. Instead, the film is recognized in the Best Picture category, among others.

Snub: “American Symphony” — The documentary “American Symphony” was left out of the Best Documentary Feature category despite its slew of awards thus far. The film was, however, nominated for Best Original Song for Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson’s “It Never Went Away.”

Surprise: Justine Triet for Best Director — “Anatomy of a Fall” had a great Oscar nominations morning, with the courtroom drama collecting five nominations — including for Best Director Justine Triet, the only female best director nominee this time.

Snub: “Priscilla” — Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” did not land Oscar attention, either in the crafts categories, Best Adapted Screenplay, or acting categories for Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi; as Priscilla and Elvis Presley.

Snub: “Saltburn” — Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” was entirely snubbed by the 2024 Oscars, despite the film being anticipated for crafts awards category attention and perhaps even a Best Original Screenplay contender.

Snub: “All of Us Strangers” (now playing at the State Theatre) — Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers” was ignored by the Academy Awards, with lead actor Andrew Scott (who was also noticeably snubbed by the BAFTAs) and supporting star Paul Mescal not in either acting category. Claire Foy and Jamie Bell were also not recognized for their respective roles in the drama.

Snub: “Dance the Night Away,” “Barbie” — Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night Away” was a “Barbie” anthem, but it was shut out of the Best Song. However, Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” and Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” both made the cut.

Surprise: “Wahzhazhe (A Song from My People),” “Killers of the Flower Moon” — The ballad “Wahzhazhe (A Song from My People)” from Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” was a surprise nominee in the Best Song category.

Snub: “The Taste of Things” — “The Taste of Things” was chosen as France’s submission for Best International Feature over “Anatomy of a Fall,” but it wasn’t nominated in the category. Meanwhile, “Anatomy of a Fall” is recognized in most core categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.

Surprise: “Robot Dreams” — Animated feature “Robot Dreams” beat out “Suzume” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” as a surprise Best Animated Feature nominee.


Mandy Patinkin: Live-On-Stage — TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Before he was a movie star, ("The Princess Bride," "Yentl," "Ragtime"), Emmy-winning TV star ("Homeland," "Chicago Hope"), and TikTok phenom, Mandy Patinkin was a Tony-winning Broadway legend ("Evita," "Sunday in the Park With George," "The Secret Garden"). He will be live-on-stage at the Michigan Theater in concert for his musical show BEING ALIVE. “Mandy Patinkin is in the business of showstopping,” raves The New Yorker, and that’s exactly what he does in this powerful, passionate evening of song. BEING ALIVE is a collection of many of Mandy’s favorite Broadway and classic American tunes. From Irving Berlin to Stephen Sondheim, from Cole Porter to Harry Chapin, Mandy Patinkin takes you on a dazzling musical journey you’ll never forget.

Gershwin Centennial - 100th Anniversary "Rhapsody in Blue" Concert — SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11 AT THE MICHIGAN

The University of Michigan will present the original 1924 jazz band version of Rhapsody in Blue at the Michigan Theater, with a U-M jazz ensemble, featuring George Gershwin’s piano as solo instrument. Commissioned by bandleader Paul Whiteman, the work premiered in a concert titled "An Experiment in Modern Music" on February 12, 1924, in Aeolian Hall, New York City. Whiteman's band performed the rhapsody with Gershwin playing the piano. This all-Gershwin program will also feature classic and recently discovered works this seminal American composer.

The celebration will also include these Gershwin scored films:



Oscar nominated for Best Picture

A 2023 historical drama film written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, loosely based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis. It stars Christian Friedel as the German Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss, who strives to build a dream life with his wife, Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), in a new home next to the German Auschwitz concentration camp.

The film premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on 19 May 2023 to acclaim, winning the Grand Prix Prize. It was named Best Film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and selected as one of the top-five international films of 2023 by the National Board of Review.

The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Glazer and Best International Feature Film. A new film from writer/director Jonathan Glazer (‘Under the Skin’)



Part of the U-M Center for Japanese Film Studies 2024 Series

After a young theology student flees a hit-and-run accident, he is plagued by both his own guilt-ridden conscience and a mysterious, diabolical doppelgänger. But all possible escape routes lead straight to hell—literally. From director Nobuo Nakagawa. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Curator’s note: This was the final production from Shintoho, the studio that had made its reputation with quick, violent genre films; however, here Nakagawa attempted to depart from the stead conventions of Japanese horror and ghost stories by climaxing his excessively elaborate plot with a spectacular vision of hell.

"The Fifth Element" — PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Late Nights at the State series

In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), finds the fate of the world in his hands when Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) falls into his cab. As the embodiment of the fifth element, Leeloo needs to combine with the other four to keep the approaching Great Evil from destroying the world. Together with Father Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) and zany broadcaster Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), Dallas must race against time and the wicked industrialist Zorg (Gary Oldman) to save humanity. From writer/director Luc Besson.

"My Love Affair with Marriage" — PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Will include a post-film Q&A from writer/director Signe Baumane

From an early age, songs and fairytales convinced Zelma that love would solve all her problems as long as she abided by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grew older something didn’t seem right with the concept of love: the more she tried to conform, the more her body resisted. A story about the acceptance of the inner female rebellion.


Part of the Late Nights at the State series

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death. From director and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.


Includes a post-film Q&A with the filmmakers, director Davis Huber and producers William Wright and Chris Yahanda.

The Oil & Water Don’t Mix Coalition for Southeast Michigan presents the premiere of the much-anticipated adventure/conservation documentary.

The film chronicles two friends' epic 36-day, 425-mile standup paddle board journey along the Great Lakes. Along the way, they explore the manmade impacts of Michigan's freshwater, including the controversial Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, which carries nearly 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids daily beneath the Straits of Mackinac.


Part of the Falasteen on Screen series

Forced to change careers after government cuts, Palestinian judge Abu Laila (Mohammed Bakri) becomes a cabbie. And in his new profession, chaos is the rule. One morning, Abu's wife, Um (Areen Omari), dispatches him with the task of securing a gift and a cake for Laila (Nour Zoubi), their soon-to-be 7-year-old daughter. But in a day marked by gridlock, unruly passengers and surprises at every turn, Abu's simple errand becomes a surreal adventure in the urban dysfunction of the West Bank. From writer/director Rashid Masharawi. Presented in Arabic with English subtitles.


Part of the Romance Francaise series

In the carefree days before World War I, introverted Austrian author Jules (Oskar Werner) strikes up a friendship with the exuberant Frenchman Jim (Henri Serre). Both men fall for the impulsive and beautiful Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), but it's Jules who wins her hand. After the war, Jim visits Jules, Catherine and their daughter in their Austrian home and discovers not only that his feelings for Catherine are unchanged, but also that they're reciprocated. From director François Truffaut. Presented in French with English subtitles.


Part of the Music by Quincy Jones series

As a volunteer at a crisis center, Alan Newell (Sidney Poitier) is working the late shift when he hears from a desperate woman named Inga Dyson (Anne Bancroft) who has attempted to overdose on sleeping pills. As Alan tries to keep Inga on the line, Detective Judd Ridley (Edward Asner) and Dr. Joe Coburn (Telly Savalas), a psychiatrist, both become involved in the increasingly tense situation. While they try to determine Inge's location in order to save her, time is quickly running out. From director Sydney Pollack.


Returning to the big screen after nearly ten years, Bill Nighy ("Living") and Carey Mulligan ("Promising Young Woman," "Maestro") are featured in the critically acclaimed revival of David Hare’s play, directed by Stephen Daldry ("The Audience").

On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra receives an unexpected visit from her former lover. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.

Captured live from Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End in 2014. Includes intermission.


"All of Us Strangers"

A screenwriter back to his childhood home enters into a fledgling relationship with a mysterious neighbor as he then discovers his parents appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before. From director Andrew Haigh ("45 years," "Weekend") and starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal.

"Freud's Last Session"

On the eve of the Second World War, two of the greatest minds on the twentieth century, C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud converge for their own personal battle over the existence of God. This film interweaves the lives of Freud and Lewis, past, present, and through fantasy, bursting from the confines of Freud's study on a dynamic journey. From director Matthew Brown ("The Man Who Knew Infinity") and starring Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode.

"Mean Girls"

A 2024 American musical teen comedy film directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. in their feature film directorial debut, from a screenplay by Tina Fey. It is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on Mark Waters's 2004 comedy film, both written by Fey and based on Rosalind Wiseman's 2002 book "Queen Bees and Wannabes." It features an ensemble cast that includes Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auliʻi Cravalho, and Christopher Briney, while Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles from the original film.

New student Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) is welcomed into the top of the social food chain by the elite group of popular girls called "The Plastics," ruled by the conniving queen bee Regina George (Reneé Rapp) and her minions Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika). However, when Cady makes the major misstep of falling for Regina's ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), she finds herself prey in Regina's crosshairs. As Cady sets to take down the group's apex predator with the help of her outcast friends Janis (Auli'i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), she must learn how to stay true to herself while navigating the most cutthroat jungle of all: high school. From directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.

"American Fiction"

Oscar nominated for Best Actor, Jeffrey Wright

A 2023 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Cord Jefferson, in his feature directorial debut. Based on the 2001 novel "Erasure" by Percival Everett, the film follows a frustrated novelist-professor who jokingly writes an outlandishly stereotypical "Black" book out of spite, only for the book to be published and receive widespread fame and acclaim. It stars Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, and Keith David.

Director Cord Jefferson's hilarious directorial debut, which confronts our culture's obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes. Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who is fed up with the establishment profiting from "Black" entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish "Black" book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

"Poor Things" 

Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and 9 other categories

From director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Favourite," 2018) and starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe. Brought back to life by an unorthodox scientist, a young woman runs off with a lawyer on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, she grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.

"The Boy and the Heron"

Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

A 2023 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by Studio Ghibli, loosely based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Genzaburō Yoshino, but the film has an original story that is not connected to the novel. Described as a "big fantastical film", it follows a boy named Mahito Maki (Soma Santoki) during the Pacific War who discovers an abandoned tower in his new town after his mother's death and enters a fantastical world with a talking grey heron.

Miyazaki announced his retirement in September 2013 but later reversed this decision. Production spanned approximately seven years, facing delays as it navigated challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and Miyazaki's slowed animation pace. According to producer Toshio Suzuki, this is the most expensive film ever produced in Japan. The screenplay draws heavily from Miyazaki's childhood and explores themes of coming of age and coping with a world marked by conflict and loss. Joe Hisaishi composed the film's score, while Kenshi Yonezu wrote and sang the film's theme song, "Spinning Globe".

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