The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg has posted his first spitball projection of the Best Picture Oscar race (alng with other projections in other categories).

HE truth bullet” commentary represents the kind of bottom-line reality check that Feinberg isn’t allowed to pass along at this stage, as he’s obliged to be diplomatic.


Oppenheimer (Universal) / HE truth bullet: Academy members have no choice but to nominate Chris Nolan‘s film because of the great reviews and excellent box-office. The bottom line is that despite its many commendable aspects, Oppenheimer is overly dense (i.e., it doesn’t breathe) and is rather punishing to sit through when you watch it for the second time. Plus Nolan wimped out by avoiding the horrors of Hirsoshima and Nagasaki.

The Holdovers (Focus) / HE truth bullet: A well-written, perfectly acted, old-fashioned ’70s relationship film…pure crowd pleaser, total home run, flawless within its realm.

Barbie (Warner Bros.) / HE truth bullet: Guaranteed to be nominated for the box-office explosion aspect alone, and it might even wind up winning, especially given its popularity among the quarter-of-an-inch-deep New Hollywood Kidz. But it’s pure feminist candy and is really too misandrist when you step back and think about it. Best Picture Oscars should be about more than just the mere earning of big money.

Poor Things (Searchlight) / HE truth bullet: A glint-of-madness feminist fantasy…wildly imaginative, Terry Gilliam-like sexual Barbie with actual fucking going on. The sexual current will put off some within the 45-plus community.

Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple/Paramount) / HE truth bullet: A highly respectable historical drama as far as it goes, but far from a home run. No strong point of view about anything. HE gives it a respectable B or B-minus.

The Zone of Interest (A24) / HE truth bullet: Searing moral perceptions by way of alluded-to Nazi horrors, but overly dry, chilly and oblique. Yes, I know — “oblique” is the basic idea.

Past Lives (A24) / HE bullet: Forget it — an unsatisfying, wafer-thin non-romance that lacks nutritional value. Not happening.

American Fiction (Amazon — haven’t seen it)

Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) / “Good’ European courtoom drama but too long, too protracted, no real surprises, doesn’t really pay off.

Nyad (Netflix — haven’t seen it but Oscar action sounds like a stretch).


All of Us Strangers (Searchlight) / HE truth bullet: Forget it — strictly a festival fetish film.

Dream Scenario (A24 — haven’t seen it)

Origin (Neon — haven’t seen it but the reviews haven’t been encouraging and Feinberg knows this)

Air (Amazon) / HE bullet: Very approvable (if somewhat modest) sports drama without sports. More of an office politics, force-of-personality piece than anything else.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony — get outta town)


Rustin (Netflix) / HE truth bullet: Forget it.

Saltburn (Amazon) / HE truth bullet: Forget it.

May December (Netflix) / HE truth bullet: Forget it.

The Taste of Things (IFC) / HE truth bullet: Total home run of a love story — deserves to win Best Int’l Feature Oscar.

Dumb Money (Sony) / HE truth bullet: Not a chance in hell.

Fair Play (Netflix — haven’t seen it)