The 96th Annual Oscars

Hollywood’s biggest night was celebrated on Mar. 10, 2024. The 96th annual Oscars award ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The show was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, making this ceremony his fourth time being host. The show premiered live on ABC during its new time of 7:00 pm EST.

Jimmy Kimmel opened the night with an opening monologue. He acknowledged the Barbenheimer weekend as well as the SAG Strike that happened this year. After this, Kimmel made sure to honor the crew of the Oscars, asking them to come to the stage, resulting in a standing ovation from the crowd. Kimmel also commented on the buzz surrounding this year’s shows. One being the snubs of the “Barbie” movie, including Margot Robbie’s snub for Best Actress and Greta Gerwig for Best Director.

Actress in a Supporting Role was the first award given out during the night. In a new addition to the show, five of the past winners of this category were brought out on stage to introduce the five current nominees. The winner of the category during the 2023 ceremony of the show was the one to hand out the award. This new inclusion was seen in the categories of Actress in a Supporting Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actor, and Best Actress. For this category, the actresses to present the award were Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong’o, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rita Moreno, and Regina King. Jamie Lee Curtis handed the award to Da’vine Joy Randolph for her portrayal of Mary Lamb in “The Holdovers.” In her speech, Randolph expressed her gratitude to her mother and the people she met in the industry who helped her become the actress and person she always wanted to be, stating, “For so long I wanted to be different, and now I realize, I just need to be myself.”

The award for Original Screenplay went to Justine Triet and Arthur Harari’s “Anatomy of a Fall.” A truly inspiring sight as a screenwriter myself, it is always a treat to see a female be honored for her writing within the academy.

Best Adapted Screenplay went to Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction.” The script for this film was based on the novel “Erasure” written by Percival Everett.

The next three categories were an early award sweep for “Poor Things,” seeing awards in the categories of Makeup and Hairstyling (Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier, and Josh Weston), Production Design (James Price and Shona Heath), and Costume Design (Holly Waddington). The award for Costume Design was presented by a naked John Cena, whose absence of clothes emphasized the importance of a good set wardrobe.

The award for International Feature Film went to the UK’s “The Zone of Interest.” This film focuses on sound to relay the horror of Auschwitz during World War II, while also humanizing the villains of the time period. In his speech, Jonathan Glazer stated, “[The purpose of the movie was] Not to say look what they did then, but rather look what we do now.”

The next category of Actor in a Supporting Role was presented by Sam Rockwell, Tim Robbins, Ke Huy Quan, Christoph Waltz, and Mahershala Ali. Ke Huy Quan presented to award to Robert Downey Jr. for his role as Lewis Strauss in “Oppenheimer.” During his speech, Downey honored the movie industry by stating, “What we do is meaningful, and the stuff we decide to make is important.”

“Oppenheimer” obtained another award for its Cinematography. The award was given to Hoyte van Hoytema, making this his second Oscar for working on a Christopher Nolan film. He previously won the same award for his work in “Dunkirk.”

The award for Live Action Short Film was given to Wes Anderson and Steven Rales for their work “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.” This award marks Anderson’s first-ever Oscar, surprisingly enough not for one of his feature-length films.

Sound and music surrounded the next three categories. Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn won the award for Sound for “The Zone of Interest.” Original Score went to Ludwig Göransson for his work on “Oppenheimer.” Göransson previously won this award in 2019 for “Black Panther.” The award for Original Song went to Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell for their song “What Was I Made For?” made for Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie.” A song that has gotten the sibling duo multiple awards this season, and granted Eilish the the title of the youngest person to ever win two Oscars.

The award for Best Actor was presented by Nicholas Cage, Matthew McConaughey, Brenden Fraiser, Ben Kingsley, and Forest Whitaker. Brenden Fraiser gave the award to Cillian Murphy for his portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer in “Oppenheimer.” Murphy gave a remarkable speech and discussed the real-world issues caused by the man he portrayed. Murphy closed his speech by stating, “We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb and, for better or for worse, we’re all living in Oppenheimer’s world, so I’d really like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.” Murphy is the first-ever Irish-born actor to win in this category and his triumph has been celebrated vastly in his home country of Ireland.
Steven Spielberg returned to the Oscar’s stage to present the award for Directing. This year’s category had a ton of big names but ultimately Christoper Nolan took home the award for “Oppenheimer.” This was Nolan’s first Oscar win and he thanked his crew, family, and the academy in his speech, “We don’t know where this incredible journey is going from here, but to know that you think that I’m a meaningful part of it means the world to me.”

The award for Best Actress was presented by Sally Field, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Yeoh, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Lange. After a tight race all season between Emma Stone and Lily Gladstone, Emma Stone ultimitly took home the award for her role of Bella Baxter in “Poor Things.” Stone took the stage with shock and humility to receive the award from Michelle Yeoh and her best friend, Jennifer Lawrence. She honored all of the women on stage and in the category alongside her, “Sandra, Annette, Carey, Lily, I share this with you, I am in awe of you, and it has been such an honor to do all this together, I hope we get to keep doing more together.”

The last award of the night was presented by Al Pacino in honor of 50 years of “The Godfather Part II.” Pacino opened the card and stated to the audience, “My eyes see ‘Oppenheimer’”’ The unclear statement was soon realized by the crowd as he turned the card granting “Oppenheimer” its seventh award of the night. Producers Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, and Christopher Nolan took home the award and the night’s biggest honor.

With the Oscars now passed, award season has finally ended. Now, it’s time to head back to the theatres and see which movies will be honored at the same time next year. To watch the full show, a recording is now streaming on Hulu.