‘Barbie’ vs. ‘Oppenheimer’: The 81st Golden Globe Awards Is a Perfect Prelude to One of the Biggest Oscars 2024 Clashes

Published 01/06/2024, 10:51 AM EST

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July 21, 2023, played host to one of the biggest pop culture phenomena in recent times. Billed as the date for Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig to both drop their biggest creative endeavors of the year, Barbie and Oppenheimer entered the common lexicon as ‘Barbenheimer’. Now, with the year having turned, the behemoths are gearing up to clash one more time. This time, the stage is standing solid and down from the theater screens to sealed and concealed envelopes.

The duo, having already earned nominations for the upcoming Golden Globes and Oscars, all suspense now lies in the results. Here is a breakdown analysis of the two movies and why they deserve to be where they are and the future from there on.

Barbie: The story so far

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Greta Gerwig put her best foot forward in turning the Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling starrer into a box office behemoth. Centered around Mattel’s fourth-wall-breaking doll, Barbie going into an existential crisis, the movie narrated the plight of women’s prejudice in a manner that reached every nook and cranny of audience age groups. Brilliantly crafted to resonate well with the younger generation while giving the older ones a penny for their thoughts, the flick made history as the highest-grossing movie by a solo female director.

Beyond the lead cast, America Ferrera’s massively acclaimed monologue, Dula Lipa’s memorable songs, and a bevy of easter eggs tucked here and there made Barbie worthy of praise. With a runtime of close to two hours, the movie landed to a certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. As of now, it stands at an 88% critical score alongside 83% from the audience. Finally, with a gross of $636.2M in the United States and over $1.4 billion globally, the movie remains one of Hollywood’s finest.

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Oppenheimer: The story so far

Coming in after a pandemic disappointment in Tenet, Christopher Nolan tuned Oppenheimer for glory right from the very start. Turning a biopic and a history lesson into a three-hour dramatic masterclass sealed him as arguably one of the finest creative gems in the history of cinema. Portraying J. Robert Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy’s acting prowess complemented by the twist and poignancy of Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt, gave birth to a movie that currently stands at the top ranks of the Hall of Fame for cinephiles.

Oppenheimer amassed a whopping $326.1M for its domestic revenue alone. Moreover, its global collection of $946 million remains one of the highest for a flick rated R. Furthermore, the movie simply swooned over critics and audiences alike. Debuting to a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, it currently stands at 93% critical consensus and a 91% audience score. Standing tall as the highest-grossing biopic ever and perhaps the most artistic and heart-wrenching tale about the making of the first atomic bomb, Oppenheimer gave Christopher Nolan further credence in cementing his legacy.

The Golden Globes tally so far

Barbie and Oppenheimer, both coming across as Hollywood’s pristine gems, accolades could hardly shy away from them. As of the first week of January 2024, both movies have taken a share of the pie at the 81st Golden Globe Awards. However, in the run-up, the Greta Gerwig directorial has taken the lead with nine nominations, with Christopher Nolan coming close with eight. Cumulatively, the duo still behold their joint craze as they prevailed over all other major submissions.

Fortunately, for the best picture category, Barbie and Oppenheimer remain pitted in different categories. While the pink-themed tale stands as a contender for the best motion picture musical or comedy category, Murphy’s take will compete in the drama category. However, the same story would not play out in the upcoming Academy Awards. Finally, both Nolan and Gerwig will go head-to-head for the honors of Best Screenplay and Best Director. At long last, one prestigious position for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement could swing either way.

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Taking place on January 7, the Golden Globes could land a major predictive precursor to the Oscars run with the 96th Academy Awards coming up on March 10.

Barbie vs. Oppenheimer: The winner of the 96th Academy Awards

The tally so far can safely conclude that in the run for the Oscars, a major upset is in the making. Although not yet disclosed, predictions pitched Barbie and Oppenheimer remain the top contenders for the Best Picture Oscar alongside Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, and a few other shortlisted names. Coming to which, the recent shortlists in 10 categories, mentioned the Greta Gerwig flick in abundance.

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In official nominations, Barbie currently takes the lead with five nods. The movie stands nominated for Best Sound, Original Song, and Original Score. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer has three official Oscar nominations, as of now, in Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound, and Original Score categories. However, with the full list of the Oscar 2024 nominees getting a disclosure on January 23, 2024, the competition will officially kick off.

Current predictions put Barbie’s riveting tale of highlighting teething issues and prejudice, even in the 21st century, as its major strength. Additionally, Greta Gerwig’s achievements, with many coming as the first for any female director, may swing the tide in her favor. Furthermore, the current young panel of judges may also wish to look into the broader cultural impact of the two movies, in which Barbie has a clear lead.

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Regardless, all eyes now lie on the Golden Globes to gauge the predictions for the upcoming Oscars. What are your thoughts on who among Barbie and Oppenheimer will take the most wins home in the upcoming Golden Globes and Academy Awards? Let us know in the comments below.

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Imteshal Karim

856 articles

Imteshal Karim is a Hollywood News reporter at NetflixJunkie. With a penchant for writing in multiple forms, he is a published writer with his works published in anthologies. A star at his college’s writing competitions, he loves telling a good story and hopes to tell impactful ones about the unexplored side of the Entertainment industry.

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