Yesterday morning, Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid revealed the nominations for the 96th Academy Awards. As expected, there were a few surprises. One notable surprise was the inclusion of Sterling K. Brown in the Best Supporting Actor category. He joins Robert Downey Jr., Robert DeNiro, Mark Ruffalo, and Ryan Gosling, all of whom are nominated in the same category.

The adapted screenplay showcased Cord Jefferson, who received his first Oscar nomination for this satirical adaptation of Percivial Everett’s Erasure, which he turned into the hit film American Fiction.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph became the first actress from the Philadelphia area to be nominated for an Oscar in the acting category since Grace Kelly, cementing her front-runner status. America Ferrera, Emily Blunt, Danielle Brooks, and Jodie Foster join her.

The Second Annual Academy Museum Gala



West Philly’s finest Colman Domingo receives his first Oscar nomination for his rousing performance of Bayard Rustin in Netflix’s Rustin. He is joined by Abington’s Bradley Cooper, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Giamotti, and Cillian Murphy.

The Best Actress category presented a blend of surprises and favorites. Lily Gladstone achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first indigenous woman to receive an Academy Award nomination. Annette Bening, a surprise nominee, joined Gladstone for her portrayal of swimmer Diana Nyad. Additionally, Carey Mulligan, Emma Stone, and Sandra Hüller were recognized for their performances in the film “Anatomy of the Fall.”

The Best Animated Feature category, as expected, includes a Disney title, Elemental. Other nominees in this category are Nimona, Robot Dreams, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and The Boy and the Heron.

In the Best Song category, there was much to celebrate, with the joyous news that “Team Barbie” received two nominations. First up, the talented Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell are in the running to become repeat Oscar winners for their poignant song “What Was I Made For?” Secondly, the catchy tune “I’m Just Ken,” a collaboration between Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, also scored a nomination for “Barbie.”

The remaining three nominees in the “Best Original Song” category are equally remarkable. “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon” is a powerful and moving track, while “It Never Went Away” from “American Fiction” delivers a poignant emotional punch. Furthermore, Diane Warren’s “The Fire Inside” from the Eva Longoria-directed film “Flamin’ Hot” marks her impressive fifteenth Oscar nomination, solidifying her status as a revered songwriter. These exceptional songs complete a diverse and compelling category.


The Best Director category, known for its competitiveness but criticized for its lack of diversity, featured some of the old guard and a new name. Greta Gerwig, considered a frontrunner for her hit film “Barbie,” was considered a strong contender. However, it was Justine Triet who ultimately became the sole woman for her film, “Anatomy of The Fall.”

Christopher Nolan, whom many view as the favorite, could potentially win two statues if his film “Oppenheimer” wins Best Picture, along with his producing partner and wife, Emma Thomas. Martin Scorsese, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Jonathan Glazer joined Nolan and Triet as the five nominees in the Best Director category.

The biggest reward on Oscar Night is best picture. This is the first year that Best Picture nominees have been required to meet new representation and inclusion standards as part of the Academy’s Aperture 2025 project. Simply put, for a film to be considered, workers from a marginalized community had to be present either above or below the line. The favorite ten included American Fiction, Anamatory of the Fall, Barbie, The Holdover, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and The Zone of Interest.

This morning’s announcement included some shocks, as studios’ last-minute pushes boosted movies like Nyad and Anatomy of the Fall. In terms of diversity, this was the first year that two Black men were nominated for Best Actor, with neither Will Smith nor Denzel Washington’s names being mentioned. Gladstone might make history by winning Best Actress. Ferrera, who is still the only Latina to win a Best Actress in a Drama Emmy, represented Latinos with her nomination.

Directing remains a sensitive matter, with no Best Director statues awarded to anyone Black, and disregarding Gerwin demonstrates that a woman directing a blockbuster is still not acknowledged. She was nominated for best adapted screenplay alongside her husband, Noah Baumback. Other notable omissions include Brooks’ only nomination in the musical adaptation of The Color Purple, which continues the title’s poor track record with the academy. Margo Robbie, who was nominated as Barbie’s producer, did not hear her name mentioned. In the documentary slot film festival, Darlin Still: A Michael J. Fox film was rejected; however, Bobi Wine: The People’s President did make the cut. The film focuses on Bobi Wine’s activism in Uganda, where he is working to restore true democracy. Moses Bwayo, the film’s director, is currently seeking asylum in the United States for himself and his family after his life was threatened for making this powerful film. The year’s most essential film, Origin, directed by Ava DuVernay and starring the brilliant Aunjane Ellis, is also overlooked. This film, which addresses many of the current concerns afflicting the country, is too powerful for an institution that prefers to nominate films by Black directors that are lighter in tone.

While one is excited about the diverse names called this morning, one can’t help but wonder if next year the pendulum will swing back.

One upside of this year’s Oscar ceremony is that it will be broadcast one hour earlier at 7 p.m. on ABC with Jimmy Kimmel as host on March 10th.