Oppenheimer was a box office hit, with almost $940 million worldwide — and a critical hit, currently sitting at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But can Christopher Nolan's latest movie also be a hit at the Oscars? In short, yes.
"I think it'll get a ton of technical awards, or at least nominations," EW editor-in-chief Patrick Gomez says on the latest episode of The Awardist podcast (below), adding that best picture, director, adapted screenplay, and actor for star Cillian Murphy seem like a lock. "You could fill the whole supporting actor category with nominees from this movie, but I would venture to guess at least one but maybe even two. And I think it's got a strong shot at supporting actress as well for Emily Blunt."
'Oppenheimer' stars Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, and Matt Damon and director Christopher Nolan
Among those technical award nominations could be cinematography, sound, editing, production design, and costumes. The movie's score — by Ludwig Göransson, a previous Oscar winner for his Black Panther score — also stands a good shot at another nod. If makeup and hairstyling also finds itself in the mix, that would get the movie to a dozen nominations. Visual effects doesn't seem as likely given the movie's climactic moment, the atomic bomb test, was created practically versus CGI — but that's not to say the movie doesn't include any visual effects; it has a robust team credited on the picture.
But whether Oppenheimer could tie or even break the record for most Oscar nominations — one currently shared by All About Eve, Titanic, and La La Land with 14 each — comes down to additional acting nominations. In addition to supporting star Robert Downey Jr., who many pundits currently have leading the race, there's also Matt Damon.
"One of the interesting things about Matt Damon is he's one of the few other than Cillian who I feel like actually didn't just pop in and out... he's sustained there in a way," Gomez says. "I hope he does get recognized as well because it's impressive how much of this movie he actually... helps carry, facilitate."
Melinda Sue Gordon/ Universal Florence Pugh and Cillian Murhy in 'Oppenheimer'
And a supporting nod for Florence Pugh, whose screentime in the movie is considerably less than Blunt's but impactful in its own right, would put Oppenheimer in a new bracket.
"It's a dark-horse nomination at this point," Gomez admits. "I think Florence Pugh deserves a nomination every year, even if she's not in a movie. She does no wrong in my book."
Check out our full conversation about the movie's chances — and hear from Nolan, Murphy, Blunt, Downey, and Damon in our Around the Table interview (conducted this summer, prior to the movie's release and the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike) — in the podcast below.
Listen to EW's The Awardist podcast on Amazon Music to get the latest awards season analysis and hear from the actors, creators, and more who are contenders this season.