Fantasies and epics: Oscar nominations celebrate whimsy and scope

After a tumultuous movie year marred by strikes and work stoppages, the Academy Awards showered nominations Jan. 23 on Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic, “Oppenheimer,” which came away with a leading 13 nominations.

Mr. Nolan’s three-hour opus, viewed as the best picture frontrunner, received nods for best picture; Mr. Nolan’s direction; acting nominations for Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., and Emily Blunt; and multiple honors for the craft of the J. Robert Oppenheimer drama.

But the year’s biggest hit, “Barbie,” came away with a nominations haul notably less than its partner in Barbenheimer mania. Greta Gerwig’s feminist comedy, with more than $1.4 billion in ticket sales, was nominated for eight awards, including best picture; Ryan Gosling for best supporting actor; and two best-song candidates in “What Was I Made For” and “I’m Just Ken.”

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