Film Critic Rani Jadfa covers this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Written by Rani

If you have been following the 2024 award season over the last couple of months, then it will be no surprise to you that the Oppenheimer team continued their winning streak at the Oscars on Sunday night. But there were a lot of other record-breaking, ovation-worthy, mouth-dropping moments too.

Before the Oscars took place, I wrote an article on The 2024 Award Season so far and things have remained relatively consistent throughout as we finally reached the endgame of Hollywood’s intense glitz and glam for the year. Best Picture Oppenheimer took home seven Oscars, including a first for Christopher Nolan and Robert Downey Jr along with Cillian Murphey becoming the first Irish-born to ever win for Best Actor. The great Ludwig Göransson just could not seem to lose this year and deservingly took home his second Oscar for Original Score (the first being for Black Panther in 2018). Speaking of music, Billie Eilish and Finneas became record-breakers with Barbie’s only win of the night – ‘What Was I Made For’ for Best Original Song – as they became the youngest two-time Oscar winners in any category in history (‘No Time to Die’, 2021).

…the bar for hosting award shows is pretty low now considering that if you don’t get cancelled or slapped in the face then you’ve done a good job

Poor Things was the second-highest achiever with four Oscars to its name, three of which went towards its artistry and world-building (Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Production Design). Emma Stone (Poor Things) and Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon) have been passing the baton between one another for Best Actress – both winning Golden Globes as there are different categories for Comedy/ Musical and Drama. Although Gladstone was a fan favourite to take home the big win as she was the first Native American to be nominated in that category, Stone won her second Oscar (La La Land, 2016) for her captivating performance as Bella Baxter.

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ won big this year, taking home seven Oscars.

Now that we’ve covered the boring stuff, let’s look at the show itself. Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the fourth time, delivering a humorous but relatively safe opening monologue with a few edgy jokes thrown in here and there. Nevertheless, the bar for hosting award shows is pretty low now considering that if you don’t get cancelled or slapped in the face then you’ve done a good job. He drew attention to Greta Gerwig’s Oscar snub for Best Director and spoke of the writers’ and actors’ strikes last year where the entire industry came to a halt. With the theme of bringing those working behind the scenes to the light, Kimmel ended his monologue by having everyone backstage who made the Oscars possible come on stage so they could get the credit they deserved.

The great Ludwig Göransson just could not seem to lose this year

However, the Oscars is not just about the awards and host; it’s a three-and-a-half-hour ceremony. So people are going to get bored. People need to be entertained. And who better to call than Ryan Gosling himself? There was a lot of initial scepticism surrounding Gosling’s potential ‘I’m Just Ken’ performance as the actor never confirmed it: in an interview, he gracefully side-stepped the question by asking back ‘Do you get paid for that? What do you get paid to sing at the Oscars?’. But the Academy busted out the ‘break in case of emergency’ piggy bank and managed to get Ryan Gosling to perform along with 65 other Kens, including Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Simu Liu and Scott Evans. And if that was not enough, Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash plus musician and Oscar-nominated composer, Mark Ronson shredded electric guitars on stage, all of which culminated to become one of the best Oscar performances in history.

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