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The 2024 Oscars: An Exhaustive Recap

Didn’t catch the show? We’ve got you covered.
Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, and Christopher Nolan accept the Oscar® for Best Picture on Sunday, Mar. 10, 2024 (Credit Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)


Picking up about a decade since Ellen DeGeneres’ famous star-filled Oscar selfie, a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same in the entertainment industry. There was the MeToo movement, the rise in streaming, combined actors and writer’s strike, a decline in celebrity culture and ticked-off academy members that did not want Messi the Dog from “Anatomy of a Fall” in attendance.

Despite starting an hour early, the award’s ceremony was delayed by 5 minutes after pro-Palestinian protesters carrying signs that read “No awards for genocide” blocked the streets outside of the Dolby Theatre. Some celebrities, like Billie Eilish and Ramy Youssef, wore red pins in solidarity for a ceasefire in Gaza. The telecast did feature a PSA for StopJewishHate during the commercial break.

After a legitimately charming Oscars spoof on Barbie, Jimmy Kimmel returned to host the 96th Annual Academy Awards for a fourth time and opened the ceremony with a typical trove of topical jokes.

“The people in this room somehow managed to come up with so many excellent films and memorable performances, this night is full of enormous talent, and untold potential, but so was Madame Web,” Kimmel said. If nothing else, Kimmel did highlight that Messi the dog did make it to the ceremony, or rather the shots of him in the crowd were filmed beforehand.

Best Supporting Actress — Winner: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

The acting categories saw the return of the “Fab 5” award presenter format, where former winners of that category introduce and praise the nominees. It’s a charming addition to the award ceremony as it gave the chance to reflect among peers.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph gave an emotional performance that moved past the mammy archetype as a grieving mother working at a preppy school who learns that it’s time to start the process of healing. She made sure to thank her publicist and her drama teacher for helping get her the opportunity to take on such a complex role.

“For so long I wanted to be different and now I realize, I just need to be myself,” said Randolph in her acceptance speech, now rounding out a slew of awards this past season.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph accepts the Oscar® for Actress in a Supporting Role on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Animated Short Film Winner: “War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko”

This was the first Oscar win for filmmakers Dave Mullins and Brad Booker and executive producer Sean Ono Lennon. This anti-war movie is based on a song from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” The movie follows two WWI soldiers playing chess with each other, unaware they are on opposing sides. They thanked Peter Jackson and Weta Digital, their animation team and Epic Games

Best Animated Feature Winner: “The Boy and the Heron”

Neither Hayao Miyazaki nor Toshio Suzuki were in attendance at the ceremony to accept the award. This is Miyazaki’s second win and only the second hand-drawn film to win in the animation category. Studio Ghibli fans can rest easy knowing that their faith in their work has been affirmed a second time, with Spirited Away winning best animated feature at the 75th Oscars.

Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse” star Shameik Moore took to Twitter/X to tweet out “robed” and then clarified with the word “robbed” as a reaction to the loss. Many on social media seemed to share the mindset.

Best Original Screenplay Winner: “Anatomy of A Fall”

This courtroom drama is comprised of dialogue meant to call into question whether or not a woman had or would kill her husband. She then is subjected to invasive questioning throughout the trial. Perhaps one of the funniest lines of any of the award’s films was 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P. being called a “deeply misogynistic song,” and then a clerk clarifying that it was an instrumental version of the song being played during the husband’s death.  Justine Triet and Arthur Harari accepted the award as P.I.M.P. was performed by the show’s orchestra.

“It [the Oscar] will help me through my midlife crisis,” said Triet as she recalled how the pair wrote the screenplay together during the pandemic lockdowns.

Sure, “Barbie” did receive some cursory nominations, and had no chance of winning this category or adapted, but “Anatomy of a Fall” and “Poor Things” also addressed feminist issues and won awards.

The Holdovers” skirted past what may have been an awkward win after it was accused of plagiarism mere days before the ceremony.

Arthur Harari and Justine Triet accept the Oscar® for Original Screenplay on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Adapted Screenplay — Winner: “American Fiction”

Cord Jefferson accepted the award and gave a speech highlighting the need for Hollywood to invest in finding new talent rather than sticking to the formats. He urged for the creation of more inexpensive films that could open the door for the next Greta Gerwig or Christopher Nolan.

“I understand this is a risk-averse industry, but $200 million movies are also a risk, and it doesn’t always work out but you take the risk anyway,” said Jefferson. “Instead of making one $200 million movie try making 20 $10 million movies.”

“American Fiction” is an odd award film as far as award films go because it’s an anti-message message movie that pleads for stories to evolve past the safe and tired tropes message movies usually have.

Cord Jefferson accepts the Oscar® for Adapted Screenplay on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling Winner: “Poor Things”

Best Production Design Winner: “Poor Things”

Best Costume Design Winner: “Poor Things”

Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston accepted the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. James Price, Shona Heath and set decorator, Zsuzsa Mihalek accepted the Oscar for Best Production Design. Holly Waddington accepted the Oscar for Best Costume Design. For many of them, it was not only their first nominations but also their first wins.

They thanked their fellow nominees, The Academy, their friends and family, the crew who built the sets and the cast for enduring the makeup chair and director Yorgos Lanthimos.

“Poor Things was a really rare opportunity to be really free and artistic in a creative process as a costume designer,” said Waddington.

Jimmy Kimmel and John Cena present the Oscar® for Costume Design on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Before the award for costuming, Jimmy Kimmel reminded the crowd about Robert Opel streaking across the stage during the 46th Academy Awards 50 years prior in 1974 and then gestured toward John Cena who was hiding behind a part of the set.

After some arguing, Cena then skirted out wearing only a pair of Birkenstocks and an awards envelope then said, “Costumes … they are so important.” Which left some on social media wondering why there was just a floating envelope on stage. Sure some people complained on social media, but Cena’s commitment to the bit and sense of humor has to be commended.

Best International Feature Film Winner: “The Zone of Interest”

The Zone of Interest” was the ninth English language film and the fourth nomination from Britain. This Holocaust film points out the horrors of complacency during a genocide and director Jonathan Glazer’s speech marked one of the few direct acknowledgments of the war in Gaza during the ceremony.

“Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present,” said Glazer. “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 they be the victims of Oct. 7 or the ongoing attack on Gaza. All the victims of this dehumanization.”

He then dedicated the win to Alexandria, a 90-year-old woman who had worked with the Polish resistance when she was a girl during the occupation. Glazer’s speech cannot be found on the official Oscar’s YouTube channel but can be found on the official ABC YouTube channel.

James Wilson, Leonard Blavatnik and Jonathan Glazer accept the Oscar® for International Feature Filmon Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Praise For Stunts

Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling presented this brief interlude after throwing some playful jabs about last summer’s “Barbenheimer” trend. What followed was a clip reel that highlighted the past feats of stunts in films from Charlie Chaplin to “Indiana Jones,” basically a long overdue Academy recognition for stunts. The campaign for stunt performers and coordinators to get official recognition as an Oscars category is still ongoing and perhaps this is a step in the right direction.

Best Supporting Actor Winner:  Robert Downey Jr, “Oppenheimer”

Robert Downey Jr accepted the award to a standing ovation, including some a-paws (applause) from Messi the Dog. Downey accepted with his typical relaxed but irreverent manner, as was the trend for his past speeches this award season.

“I’d like to thank my terrible childhood, and the Academy, in that order,” said Downey. “I’d like to thank my veterinarian — I meant, wife, Susan Downey. She found me a snarling rescue pet, and loved me back to life.”

From “Chaplin,” to “Tropic Thunder” (for which he was also nominated in the same category) to “Sherlock Holmes” to a decade as “Iron Man,” Downey’s comeback story is inspiring. In a way, this win felt like a career award for the decades it took to get to that stage.

Robert Downey, Jr. accepts the Oscar® for Actor in a Supporting Role on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Achievement In Visual Effects Winner: “Godzilla Minus One”

Accepting their first Oscar Win and nomination, the team for Godzilla Minus One walked to the stage in their matching Godzilla claw shoes and little Godzilla figurines. Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima were in attendance while the remainder of the team watched back home in Japan.

Yamazaki gave the speech and spoke about how the “shock” of seeing “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” kicked off his career. He spoke about how the team felt like Rocky Balboa when they learned they had been nominated.

“This award is proof that everyone has a chance,” Yamazaki said.

What this highlights is what’s possible without a massively overinflated budget for a studio CGI schlockfest some executive has rushed and meddled with. It is possible to tell VFX-reliant stories without overworking and undervaluing the VFX team.

Masaki Takahashi, Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya and Tatsuji Nojima accept the Oscar® for Visual Effects on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Documentary Short Winner: “The Last Repair Shop”

Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers accepted their second and first win respectively for their charming documentary on music in Lon Angeles public schools. Joining them on stage was 12-year-old violinist, Porchè Brinker who was featured in the documentary.

“’The Last Repair Shop‘ is about the heroes in our schools who often go unsung, unthanked, and unseen,” said Bowers, “Tonight you are sung, you are thanked, you are seen.”

Best Documentary Feature Winner: “20 Days In Mariupol”

Accepting their first Oscar win and nomination for the Ukrainian war documentary were Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner and Raney Aronson-Rath. Director Chernov gave an emotional speech about the importance of the win and the still ongoing invasion in Ukraine.

“I wish I could exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities. I cannot change the history, I cannot change the past,” Chernov said. He also expressed the importance of documentaries setting the record straight for ongoing conflicts and the importance of storytelling: “Cinema forms memories, and memories form history,” Chernov said.

Best Cinematography Winner: “Oppenheimer”

Achievement In Editing Winner: “Oppenheimer”

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito presented this award where they had a cute callback to “Twins” and a nod to their previous roles as Batman villains with Michael Keaton in the seats playing along.

Jennifer Lame accepted her first Oscar win and nomination for Best Editing and gave a very down-to-earth speech where she thanked director Christopher Nolan for hiring her and for all she learned during the editing process.

Hoyt Van Hoytema accepted his first win and second nomination and for Best Cinematography and thanked his crew, director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas as well as his wife and daughter. Much of “Oppenheimer” was done with practical effects and minimal VFX which did result in a beautiful film thanks to Hoytema’s now Oscar-winning work.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito present the Oscar® for Film Editing on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Live Action Short Winner: “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”

Wes Anderson’s first win for his Netflix short film starring Benedict Cumberbatch was expected even though the director didn’t attend the ceremony. 

Achievement In Sound Winner: “The Zone of Interest”

Presenter John Mulaney highlighted some of cinema’s most iconic lines such as, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” from “Jaws” and quoted “Madame Web,” saying, “Without sound we wouldn’t have lines like ‘He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders just before she died.’”

Tarn Willers and Jonnie Bern accepted the award. Much of the movie is told in sound, the sound of atrocities happening just outside the comfortable walls of the privileged that can only be heard when it’s silent within. 

Performance “I’m Just Ken”

Beginning his performance in the seats and then moving to the stage, Ryan Gosling performed Ken’s power ballad accompanied by no less than 60 backup dancers. He was also joined by other stars from the movie, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa and Scott Evans.

The cameos didn’t stop there, with Wolfgang Van Halen and Slash appearing and providing the instrumentals. He then returned to the crowd to hand the microphone off to Greta Gerwig, America Ferrera, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone. Then in a gentlemanly way, Gosling led the cameraman back up the stage.

The pink performance, a homage to “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” was met with applause and a lengthy standing ovation. Even though he didn’t secure the award for Best Supporting Actor, Gosling has for sure secured some long-overdue admiration.

The telecast also featured performances of “What Was I Made For?” performed by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, “It Never Went Away” performed by Jon Batiste, “The Fire Inside” performed by Becky G, “Wahzhazhe” (A Song For My People) performed by Scott George and the Osage Singers, and the Oscars In Memoriam segment performed by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli after being introduced by the late Alexei Navalny.

Ryan Gosling and Slash perform “I’m Just Ken” onstage on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Outstanding Original Score Winner: Ludwig Göransson, “Oppenheimer”

Ludwig Göransson accepted his second Oscar win, his first being for “Black Panther.” He thanked director Christopher Nolan and his wife and violinist, Serena McKinney, with whom he worked closely on the score.

“To my parents up there, thank you for giving me guitars and drum machines instead of video games,” said Göransson.

Best Original Song Winner: “What Was I Made For?”

Siblings and creative team Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell accepted their second Oscar win, the first was for “No Time To Die.” Eilish is the youngest person to win two Oscars and is halfway to becoming an EGOT winner.

“This goes out to everyone who was affected by the movie and how incredible it is,” said Eilish. 

Although it was the only televised win for “Barbie,” the film can rest easily on the cool $1.4 billion it made during its theatrical run.

Finneas O’Connell and Billie Eilish accept the Oscar® for Original Song on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Lead Actor Winner: Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”

Before giving his speech Cillian Murphy made sure to shake hands with each of the previous best actor winners on stage.  Murphy then accepted his first Oscar win and nomination and thanked Christopher Nolan, the crew, his fellow nominees and his family. He said he was “a very very proud Irishman.”

“We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb and for better or worse we’re now living in Oppenheimer’s world now,” said Murphy. “So I’d like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.”

This also led to the end of a less than stellar Oscar campaign from Bradley Cooper for “Maestro.” As for Paul Giamatti, hopefully, he had some conciliatory In N’ Out after the ceremony.

Cillian Murphy accepts the Oscar® for Actor in a Leading Role on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Director Winner: Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”

Accepting his first win after eight nominations, Christopher Nolan politely thanked the industry members who helped make this happen as well as the cast of “Oppenheimer” and the crew. Of course, he thanked his wife and “Oppenheimer’s” producer, Emma Thomas.

His most poignant point was that filmmaking is not yet a hundred-year-old medium and that he felt privileged to have been a part of the relative beginning of cinema when compared to other storytelling mediums.

“We don’t know where this incredible journey is going from here, but to know that you think I’m a meaningful part of it means the world to me,” said Nolan before he was played off to the theme of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Christopher Nolan accepts the Oscar® for Best Director on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Lead Actress Winner: Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Emma Stone tearfully and graciously acknowledged the previous best actress winners on stage and her fellow nominees as she accepted her second Oscar win, the first being for “La La Land.” This award proves that Stone has succeeded in reinventing herself as an actress after taking such an unconventional role.

“It’s not about me, it’s about a team that came together to make something greater than the sum of its parts,” Stone said. “That is the best part of making movies.”

This upset win caught some on social media by surprise as they lamented the loss for Lily Gladstone, who may not have another Oscar chance like this for a while. 

However, Stone made sure to acknowledge her and their fellow nominees saying, “Sandra, Annette, Carrie, Lily, I share this with you. I am in awe of you. And it has been such an honor to do all of this together, I hope we get to do more together.”

Emma Stone accepts the Oscar® for Actress in a Leading Role on Sunday, March 10, 2024 (Credit: Trae Patton ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Best Picture Winner: “Oppenheimer”

Al Pacino presented this category and completely skipped over listing the nominations and just ripped open the envelope and announced “Oppenheimer” as the Best Picture of 2023. With 13 nominations and seven wins, the biopic about the man who created the atomic bomb won the biggest award of the night. Producers Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan and the entire cast in attendance as well as the crafts winners came to the stage.

Thomas gave a speech thanking her husband, Christopher Nolan and the Academy, and wholly echoed Emma Stone’s praise for filmmaking. Roven echoed her words and thanked the team at Universal Pictures and his family.

It’s unknown whether or not Oppenheimer would have become the blockbuster that it did without assistance from Barbie’s marketing campaign, but this win finally means a movie that general audiences actually have seen won Best Picture. It seemingly paid off because the telecast averaged 19.5 million viewers, up 4% from the previous telecast and the highest in 4 years.

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that “Dune: Part Two” was delayed and as a result did not qualify for this year’s Oscars. Now, it has the awards season wide open. Hopefully, it will win back the Academy’s respect for blockbuster films like “Lord of the Rings” again.

Who knows? There’s an entire year of films until then.


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About the Contributor
Andre Montoya
Andre Montoya, Arts Writer
Andre Montoya is a senior at the University of Utah double majoring in English and communications with an emphasis in journalism. He began writing for the Arts Desk at the Daily Utah Chronicle in Fall 2022. Previously, he has written for the West View Media and Voices of Utah, formerly run by now retired U professor Dr. Kim Mangun. He can often be found around campus glued to his laptop working on assignments or at the Student Life Center exercising. In his free time, he enjoys reading novels, photography, binge-watching shows and movies, or spending time with friends.

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