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Who will win the 2024 Oscars: Hüller, Wenders, Çatak?

Will Sandra Hüller, Wim Wenders or Ilker Çatak win their first Oscar? And how many trophies will "Oppenheimer" win? The 96th Academy Awards on March 10 will be exciting until the very end.

Some filmmakers should have acceptance speeches ready. Cillian Murphy, for example, is considered a sure winner at the 96th Academy Awards on March 10. With his role as the physicist Robert Oppenheimer, co-inventor of the atomic bomb, the 47-year-old Irish star has already picked up dozens of trophies in the current awards season. The historical drama "Oppenheimer" leads the race for the world's most important film award with 13 nominations. Director Christopher Nolan and lead actor Murphy could receive their first Oscar ever.

Oscars "Made in Germany"

It would also be the first Oscar gold for Sandra Hüller, Wim Wenders and Ilker Çatak. Hüller, who comes from Thuringia and lives in Leipzig, has already written a piece of Oscar history with her leading role in the legal drama "Anatomie d'une chute". The 45-year-old is the first German actress to be nominated for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" since the 1930s. Back then, Luise Rainer, who was born in Düsseldorf and lived in Hollywood, won two consecutive Oscars for her roles in "Der grosse Ziegfeld" (1937) and "Die gute Erde" (1938).

Wim Wenders has already been nominated three times for a documentary Oscar, but has always come away empty-handed. Now, at the age of 78, the German directing legend could win the Oscar for his poetic film "Perfect Days". The story of a man named Hirayama (Koji Yakusho), who works as a toilet cleaner in Tokyo, enjoys reading and listening to rock music, is in the running for Japan in the "International Film" category.

However, the Oscar in this category could also go to Germany with the social drama "Das Lehrerzimmer". Director Ilker Çatak, who was born in Berlin and grew up partly in Turkey, turns a school into the setting for a multi-layered conflict. At the center is a young teacher (Leonie Benesch) who wants to solve a series of thefts. The gripping film deals with prejudices, debate culture and the pressure on teachers.

One year after the sensational Oscar success of the anti-war epic "Nothing New in the West" with four trophies, including the foreign Oscar, German filmmakers are once again showing a strong presence in Hollywood. This is in contrast to Switzerland, which competed for the "International Film" category with "Foudre" ("Thunder"), but was eliminated in the preliminary round last December.

Hüller in the spotlight

Hüller shines in French director Justine Triet's "Anatomie d'une chute" as a successful writer who comes under suspicion of murder after the death of her husband and has to defend herself in court. However, Oscar predictions give her US colleagues Lily Gladstone ("Killers of the Flower Moon") and Emma Stone ("Poor Things") the better chances. Gladstone would be the first indigenous leading actress to win an Oscar.

Meanwhile, US industry publications are full of praise for Hüller. The magazine "The New Yorker" dedicated a seven-page portrait to her. It also highlights her courageous role in "The Zone of Interest" by British director Jonathan Glazer. Hüller plays the wife of concentration camp commander Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), who lives with his family in a large house right next to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Both Hüller films have been nominated for five Oscars each, including in the top category "Best Film".

Records and rarities

Justine Triet, the director of "Anatomie d'une chute", is also in the spotlight. She is only the ninth woman ever to be nominated in the "Best Director" category in the long history of the Oscars. She is up against Christopher Nolan ("Oppenheimer"), the Greek Giorgos Lanthimos ("Poor Things"), the Brit Jonathan Glazer ("The Zone of Interest") and Hollywood veteran Martin Scorsese ("Killers of the Flower Moon"), who at 81 is the oldest director nominee ever, according to the Film Academy.

"Oppenheimer" goes into the Oscar race with 13 nominations - and therefore has a chance of setting a record. So far, three films have won 11 Oscars each: "Ben Hur", "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King". If "Oppenheimer" can now convert at least 12 nominations into awards, that would be the new top spot.

The second most likely to win (11) is the bizarre Frankenstein adaptation "Poor Things" - starring a fearless Emma Stone. Martin Scorsese's drama "Killers of the Flower Moon" is nominated ten times.

At the age of 92 and with his 54th Oscar nomination for the music of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny", composer John Williams is the living filmmaker with the most Oscar nominations. The Hollywood record is held by Walt Disney (1901-1966) with 59 Oscar nominations. Williams has already received five golds, the last one exactly 30 years ago for "Schindler's List".

Stars at the gala

The Academy is already getting in the mood for the gala with big names: The host is US comedian Jimmy Kimmel for the fourth time. Celebrities such as Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Lawrence, Zendaya and Jamie Lee Curtis will help hand out the awards as presenters.

Performers announced include Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell and Hollywood star Ryan Gosling with their nominated "Barbie" songs "What Was I Made For?" and "I'm Just Ken". An Oscar for one of the two songs could be the "Barbie" consolation. The biggest box office hit of 2023 is in the running with eight nominations, including for supporting actor Gosling and best film, but without leading actress Margot Robbie or director Greta Gerwig. For them, the pink Oscar dream has already been shattered.


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