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2024 Oscar Highlights: Oppenheimer Leads Hollywood’s Biggest Night

2024 Oscar Highlights: Oppenheimer Leads Hollywood’s Biggest Night

With the conclusion of the 96th Academy Awards, another year of film is in the books. Hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 10, the 2024 Oscars delivered as promised: on-time, uncontroversial, and rather predictable. Here are some highlights and a recap of Hollywood’s biggest night.


oscars 2024 best actor
Source: variety

To no one’s surprise, Oppenheimer dominated the field. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the period epic secured an impressive 7 wins in 13 total nominations, both tops at the event. The film won Best Director for Nolan; his first Oscar win in 8 career nods. Oppenheimer also won the biggest award of the night, netting Best Picture for Nolan and his producer/wife Emma Thomas. “I think any of us who make movies know that you kind of dream of this moment,” said Thomas. “I could deny it, but I have been dreaming about this moment for so long…and now I’m standing here and everything’s kind of gone out of my head.”



The male acting categories belonged to Oppenheimer as well. Irish thespian Cillian Murphy won for lead performance and Robert Downey Jr for performance in a supporting role. Little surprise here as both actors were huge favorites in their respective categories. The win was the first for Murphy in his first nomination. Downey Jr also collected his first win in his third career nod. 


oscars 2024 emma stone
Source: CNN


One category that Oppenheimer played a non-factor in was Best Actress, the only category that possessed any kind of true uncertainty. It has been a two pony race the entire award season between Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon and Emma Stone for Poor Things. By showtime, the odds had almost drawn even with Gladstone slightly ahead. However, this was one of the few categories where the favorite didn’t come through. Emma Stone took the Best Actress win, her second career acting win in four such nominations. Although the race was nearly a dead heat, Stone was visibly stunned. Her speech included effusive praise for Gladstone, saying, “Lily — I share this with you. I’m in awe of you.” 

Perhaps the least interesting award of the night was the first one presented. Da’Vine Joy Randolph won Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers, concluding her cinematic accolade cavalcade. She has been unstoppable this award season, also winning best supporting actress at BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, and SAG awards. The win came in Randolph’s first career nomination. 


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oscar nominations 2024 best actress

Source: Les Films Pelléas/Anatomy of a Fall


As far as the writing categories are concerned, the favorites once again proved victorious. Best Original Screenplay went to Anatomy of a Fall while the award for Best Adapted Screenplay was won by American Fiction. In the category of Best Original Song, the award again went to the favorite choice with “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie, making history for siblings Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell. The Oscar is the second win for the 22-year-old Eilish, making her the youngest person ever to win two Academy Awards. Her brother became the second youngest person to win multiple Oscars at the age of 26. 

Billie and Finneas performed their Oscar winning song, but it was hardly the most memorable number of the show. Singer Becky G gave a hot rendition of “The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot. Shortly thereafter, Ryan Gosling gave the performance of the event with “I’m Just Ken”, the second offering from Barbie that was nominated for Best Original Song. Gosling’s performance was in tune and on point, as he was joined by surprise guest Slash on guitar. 

Overall, it was an entertaining evening but unfortunately, it was also disappointing for some. Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon was shut out, registering zero wins in 10 total nominations. Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, scored just 1 win out of 8 nods. Maestro, which was written, directed, produced, and stars Bradley Cooper, also went winless, going an ugly 0 – 7. On the whole, only 3 films won multiple awards. In addition to Oppenheimer, Poor Things won 4 Oscars and The Zone of Interest won two, including Best International Feature Film.  

Film historian Robert Osborne once stated, “I think everyone who makes movies wants to win an Academy Award”. That sentiment was on full display Sunday night, even if the surprising results were not. But it feels like the 2024 Academy Awards got it right for the most part. There were not many surprises regarding the winners but maybe that’s because many of the most deserving nominees won.


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