Oscars scorecard: ‘Oppenheimer’ moves further ahead after Critics Choice Awards wins

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The Critics Choice Awards held their annual ceremony on Sunday, January 14 and shared the love between Christopher Nolan‘s “Oppenheimer” and Greta Gerwig‘s “Barbie.” The former won eight awards while the latter won six. It continues the Barbenheimer battle that has been brewing since both films bombarded the box office back in July last year. However, how about the 35 boxes theory we’ve been carrying out this awards season?

The test measures a film’s support across the industry in key races. We track each film’s nominations and wins in key categories at the most important precursor awards such as the Globes, SAG, DGA, PGA, BAFTAs, and the Critics Choice Awards. The aim is, the more boxes you tick, the greater the support of the film across the industry and the better chance you have at taking home Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

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For example, in 2019, “Green Book” won 23 of these 35 boxes before winning Best Picture at the Oscars. Conversely, “Roma” filled in only 19 boxes while both “BlacKkKlansman” and “The Favourite” were at 20. Each of the three previous Best Picture winners prior to “Green Book” numbered among the top three entries on our season-end charts.

This round consisted of only one box — Critics Choice Best Picture Winner. The nominees here were “American Fiction,” “Barbie,” “The Color Purple,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” and “Saltburn.” It was Nolan’s film, the biopic “Oppenheimer,” that took home Best Picture as one of its eight awards, continuing its trajectory of Academy Award favorite. Here’s what that does to the 35 boxes standings.

“Oppenheimer” now sits on 13/35 as a result. This only solidifies the film’s standing as the favorite to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The fact that it also won seven other Critics Choice Awards, such as Best Director for Nolan and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr, is a bonus.

There are two films in joint second place — “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Poor Things,” both on 10/35. However, Martin Scorsese‘s film was shut out at the Critics Choice Awards and Lily Gladstone lost Best Actress to “Poor Things” star Emma Stone. Support for “Killers of the Flower Moon” could be waning, despite its standing in joint second spot.

Next up is “Barbie,” which sits on 9/35 and recovered from the Globes well here, winning Best Original Screenplay.

“The Holdovers” follows after “Barbie” with 7/35 boxes ticked. Unlike “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “The Holdovers” seems to be gaining support — Paul Giamatti won Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards over “Oppenheimer” star Cillian Murphy.

After that are “Maestro” and “Past Lives,” both on 6/35, and then comes “Anatomy of a Fall” and “American Fiction” on 5/35. “The Color Purple” is on 4/35 and several movies are on 2/35 including “The Zone of Interest.”

Next up in this 35 boxes theory is the BAFTA nominations, which are announced this Thursday, January 18 at 12 pm GMT.

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