With 2023 now consigned to history, thoughts in Hollywood are beginning to turn to who might be celebrating Oscars success this year.
The 96th Academy Awards are only a few months away, so here is everything you need to know about show business’s glitziest awards ceremony.
The 96th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday 10th March, 2024.
The shortlists of films, all released during 2023, were announced on Thursday 21st December and nomination voting will take place between 11th January and 16th January, with the nominations being announced on 23rd January.
Final voting will then occur between 22nd February and 27th February with the winners being announced on the big night.
The Oscars are to be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and will be hosted for the fourth time by comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
There are more than 7,000 members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), about a quarter of which are actors, and about 6,000 of them are eligible to vote.
Ballots used to be mailed to members and the results were then collated, but that was a laborious and time-consuming process.
Since 2013, an online voting system has been in operation to speed things up a bit.
The origin of the term Oscar for an Academy Award is disputed, although the nickname was officially adopted in 1939.
Most believe that former executive director Margaret Herrick came up with the name in 1931 when, upon seeing an award for the first time, she commented that it reminded her of her cousin, Oscar Pierce.
However, screen legend Bette Davies, who was president of the academy in 1941, is reported in a biography to have named the award after her first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson.
The first time the phrase went into print was in a newspaper column in 1934 and Walt Disney became the first person to refer to an Oscar in his acceptance speech the same year.
The biopic of the father of the atomic bomb is fancied to claim the big prize, but faces strong possible competition from Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, a tale about Native Americans of Osage County being murdered as others looked to exploit their oil wealth in the 1920s, which is at .
Others in the reckoning at this stage are Poor Things, a science fantasy comedy which is due for a January release in the UK, which is available at and The Holdovers, which is a comedy drama about a bad-tempered teacher who has to look after students at his boarding school over Christmas.
Murphy’s chief rival for the gong could be Bradley Cooper, who will finally be hoping to get his hands on the prize for his portrayal of the composer Leonard Bernstein in another biopic, Maestro.
Stone won this the only other time she was nominated, for LA La Land in 2017, and is favourite with her role as Bella Baxter, a young Victorian woman who is resurrected to embark on adventures of self-discovery.
Lily Gladstone comes next in the market at 5/4, while Carey Mulligan is to win the prize for her portrayal of Bernstein’s wife Felicia Montealegre in Maestro.
He finally got his hands on an Oscar for The Departed in 2007.