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Top 10 Moments From Oscars 2024

March 11, 2024 13:15 IST
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IMAGE: Emma Stone celebrates her Best Actress win with presenters, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Yeoh, Charlize Theron and Jessica Lange. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Love them, hate them but the Oscars have a way of sneaking up on you.

Unlike last year which had India cheering for RRR, The Elephant Whisperers and All That Breathes, among which it won for Best Song and Documentary Short not to forget a dazzling Deepika Padukone pitching in as one of the evening's star presenters, the 96th Academy Awards only had a Indian origin Canadian filmmaker Nisha Pahuja's To Kill A Tiger nominated under Best Documentary.  

It was a night of stars, speeches and standing ovations as Oppenheimer dominated the show, winning seven out of its 13 nominations while the other half of the Barbenheimer phenomenon settled for one.

On the other hand, Poor Things grabbed a respectable four wins when an uninhibited Emma Stone beat frontrunner Lily Gladstone to bag her second Best Actress Oscar.

Germany's The Zone of Interest may have walked away with Best Sound and International Film but Japan found much to celebrate in Godzilla Minus One taking a Visual Effects trophy and Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron winning Best Animation Film.

For the first time in Oscar history, three female filmmakers Greta Gerwig, Celine Song, and Justine Triet competed for Best Picture.

For the first time Lily Gladstone, a Native American woman was nominated for Best Actress.

Neither won.  

On the red carpet, it was fashion as usual as hues of spring and candy aside the usual black, white and metallic stole the show while a slew of celebrities sported brooches for political reasons and personal.

If the likes of Billie Eilish, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef wore Artists for Ceasefire pins appealing for peace in war-torn Gaza, Past Lives star Teo Yoo donned a turtle brooch to honour his deceased pet Momo whereas Cillian Murphy's spherical accessory in the design of eight layered trapeziums represented Oppenheimer's most famous invention.

For many years now though, an air of predictability has seeped into one of the world's most coveted movie awards and hiring Jimmy Kimmel as host for the fourth time with his safe, stale bag of jokes isn't shaking things up at all.

Having said that, Kimmel did get a couple of things right this year. Be it a shout-out to below-the-line labour union in relation to the screenwriters strike or a befitting rejoinder to former US President Donald Trump's tweet criticising his hosting skills where he quipped, 'Thank you, President Trump. Thank you for watching, I'm surprised you're still... isn't it past your jail time?'

On that cheerful note then, Sukanya Verma lists the highpoints of Oscars 2024.


The World is not Kenough!

IMAGE: Ryan Gosling performs I'm Just Ken from Barbie along with Slash on the electric guitar. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Ryan Gosling may have lost in the Oscar race but won millions of hearts for his delightful rendition of I'm Just Ken. With Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash in this electric picture, it prompted everyone in Dolby Theatre, from Barbie co-star Margot Robbie to La La Land's ladylove Emma Stone, to join in.



And the Oscar goes to Iron Man

IMAGE: Robert Downey Jr poses with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Oppenheimer. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

The night belonged to Robert Downey Jr.

Everybody loves an underdog story, a proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, a 'finally he won' moment and RDJ being a good sport about a distasteful Kimmel ribbing him over his drug addiction days only goes to show how far he's come.

Humorous as ever, the Avenger was happy to bring the house down, beginning his award-winning speech by thanking his 'terrible childhood and the Academy, in that order only.'


John Cena in the buff!

IMAGE: John Cena performs on stage during the presentation of the award for Costume Design. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Back in 1974, the ongoing Oscars ceremony was rudely interrupted by the antics of a streaker. Who knew wrestler-turned-actor John Cena picking that exact embarrassing moment in history to pay tribute to while presenting Best Costumes award would be such a hoot?

Tricky as the gag was, hats off to the Ricky Stanicky star for totally pulling it off.


Director's cut

IMAGE: Christopher Nolan accepts the Oscar for Best Director for Oppenheimer from presenter Steven Spielberg . Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Christopher Nolan receiving his first Best Director Academy award from Steven Spielberg is a moment.

Two of Hollywood's finest filmmakers in one frame is a moment.

Did you know Spielberg was one of the first people Nolan showed Oppenheimer to in 70mm print? The two sat next to each other and watched the anti-war spectacle. Nolan calls it an 'extraordinary experience.' Now he has two.


Speeches of note

IMAGE: Da'Vine Joy Randolph accepts the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Emotional or endearing, heartfelt speeches are our favourite bit about any awards show. Sample these:

Best Supporting Actress, The Holdovers, Da'Vine Joy Randolph: I always wanted to be different, but now I realise that I just need to be myself. I thank you for you seeing me.

Best Adapted Screenplay, Cord Jefferson, American Fiction: I understand that this is a risk-averse industry, but $200 million movies are also a risk. But you take the risk anyway. Instead of making one $200 million movie, make twenty $10 million movies or fifty $4 million movies.

Best Documentary Feature, Mstyslav Chernov, 20 Days in Mariupol: This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history. And I'm honoured. But probably I will be the first director on this stage who will say I wish I had never made this film. I wish to be able to exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities.

Best International Film Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest: Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack in Gaza.


Superstar Messi

IMAGE: Messi, the dog from Anatomy of a Fall sits in the audience. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Palm Dog winner and Anatomy of a Fall's four-legged star has attracted a lot of attention all through the pre-Oscar buzz.

There was some talk about the super adorable border collie not attending the ceremony.

Except he did and had no problem becoming the cynosure of all eyes and hobnobbing with the who's who of Hollywood.


The Barbenheimer banter

IMAGE: Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Barbie's Ryan Gosling and Oppenheimer's Emily Blunt playfully ribbing each other over the relentless Barbenheimer rivalry felt amusing to say the least.  

Gosling bragged about Barbie's box office success, quipping, 'I kind of figured out why it's called Barbenheimer and not Oppenarbie. You're on the tail end because you rode Barbie's' coattails all summer.'

Blunt's comeback made its point loud and clear. 'The way this award season has turned out, it wasn't that much of a rivalry. Just let it go!'

Watch out for this sparkly duo in The Fall Guy this summer.


In memoriam

IMAGE: A photo of Matthew Perry is displayed during the In Memoriam Oscars tribute. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Michael Gambon, Matthew Perry, Tom Wilkinson, Ryan O'Neal, Tina Turner and India's acclaimed art director Nitin Desai are among the late legends Oscars paid a tribute to, against Italian maestro Andrea Bocelli and son Matteo's moving recital of It's Time to Say Goodbye.


Winner takes it all

IMAGE: Cillian Murphy receives his award from Matthew McConaughey. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Doing away with the traditional format of movie clips showcasing the nominated actor's powerhouse portrayal, this year's Oscars had previous winners from Best Actor and Actress as well as Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories honouring the present nominees with wholehearted appraisal of their work in the said role.


John Mulaney for Oscar host

IMAGE: John Mulaney and Olivia Munn pose on the red carpet. Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/Reuters

The comedian's breathless commentary and effortless parody of Kevin Costner's 1989 baseball drama Field of Dreams is reason enough to believe he'd be the best person to run the Oscars show next year.

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