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Oscars shortlists revealed: Here are the films one step closer to nomination

Dec 21, 2023, 2:51 PM | Updated: 2:53 pm

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from "Oppenheimer." (Univ...

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from "Oppenheimer." (Universal Pictures via AP)

(Universal Pictures via AP)

The “Barbie” power ballad “I’m Just Ken” and AP and Frontline’s documentary “20 Days in Mariupol” just got one step closer to an Oscar nomination. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday shortlists in 10 categories, including best original song, documentary feature, international feature, original score, and crafts like hair and makeup, visual effects and sound.

Mstyslav Chernov’s “20 Days in Mariupol” was shortlisted in both the documentary and international feature categories, representing Ukraine in the latter.

As expected, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” were prominently represented among the finalists in many categories, including score and sound, as was Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest.” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” also advanced in makeup, visual effects and score and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in visual effects, song and score.

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie could be your next Halloween costume. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie could be your next Halloween costume.
(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Among the 15 international features advancing are “The Zone of Interest” (United Kingdom), Trần Anh Hùng’s “The Taste of Things” (France), Lila Avilés’ “Tótem” (Mexico) and Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves” (Finland). Justine Triet’s acclaimed “Anatomy of a Fall” was not chosen selected to represent France and thus was not eligible in the category.

Original song contenders competing against “I’m Just Ken” include two other songs from “Barbie”: Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” and Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” Only two songs from a single movie can advance to the nomination stage, however. Both “Flora and Son” and “The Color Purple” had two songs advance.

Other contenders include Sharon Van Etten for “Quiet Eyes” from “Past Lives,” Olivia Rodrigo for “Can’t Catch Me Now,” from “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” Jon Batiste for “It Never Went Away” from “American Symphony,” Lenny Kravitz for his “Rustin” song “Road to Freedom” and Jarvis Cocker’s “Dear Alien (Who Art In Heaven)” from “Asteroid City.”

Diane Warren will also get another shot at a nomination for “The Fire Inside” from “Flamin’ Hot.” But several expected finalists were left off, including Justin Timberlake for “Trolls Band Together” and Jack Black for his “Super Mario Bros. Movie” ballad “Peaches.” “Wonka” was also missing from the list.

‘Barbie’ takes the box office crown and ‘Oppenheimer’ soars in a historic weekend

The 15 original score finalists included a number of familiar players, including John Williams (“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”), Ludwig Göransson (“Oppenheimer”), Mica Levi (“The Zone of Interest”) and the late Robbie Robertson for “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Joe Hisaishi could also be headed for his first Oscar nomination for “The Boy and the Heron.”

Composer Kris Bowers advanced for “The Color Purple,” but not for “Origin,” which also missed out in the song category. “Past Lives,” by Christopher Bear and Daniel Rossen, was another surprise exclusion from the score finalists.

This image released by Lucasfilm shows Ethann Isidore, from left, Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a scene from “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” (Lucasfilm Ltd. via AP)

Documentary nominees in addition to “20 Days in Mariupol” include “American Symphony,” about Batiste, “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” “The Eternal Memory,” “A Still Small Voice” and “Four Daughters.” Some were surprised at the omission of “Kokomo City,” about the lives of Black trans sex workers, and “Little Richard: I Am Everything.”

“Barbie” missed the cut for makeup and hairstyling, which included nominations for “Beau is Afraid,” “Poor Things,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Napoleon.”

Though “Oppenheimer” fared well in most categories, it was not among the finalists in the visual effects category. The film’s surprising omission from the list of the original 20 finalists was previously reported. The visual effects contenders are often comprised of superhero and franchise films that aren’t otherwise considered big awards players — this year that includes Zack Snyder’s poorly reviewed “Rebel Moon-Part One: A Child of Fire,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

This image released by Marvel Studios shows, from left, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula in a scene from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” (Marvel-Disney via AP)

Live action, animated and documentary shorts finalists were also announced. The live action category is a little starrier than usual, with both Pedro Almodóvar’s Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal western “Strange Way of Life” and Wes Anderson’s “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” with Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Kingsley, among the contenders.

For the most part, shortlists are determined by members in their respective categories, though the specifics vary from branch to branch: Some have committees, some have minimum viewing requirements.

Final nominations in all categories will be announced on Jan. 23. The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held on March 10, broadcasting live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The show will begin one hour earlier than usual, at 7 p.m. ET.

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Oscars shortlists revealed: Here are the films one step closer to nomination