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Oppenheimer triumphs, Ryan Gosling dazzles at 96th Academy Awards | CBC News

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It was a night of surprises and upsets at Sunday’s Academy Awards — especially for what were arguably the year’s two biggest films. 

That was perhaps most clear with Oppenheimer, which took home seven wins — the most of all nominated movies. The period piece won for film editing, cinematography, score, best supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr., best actor for Cillian Murphy, best director for Christopher Nolan, and the top award, best picture. 

Meanwhile, up for eight awards, Barbie only took home one, as sister-brother duo Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell won best original song with What Was I Made For?. The two previously won the same category in 2022 for their track No Time to Die from the James Bond film of the same name. 

Although Barbie itself didn’t perform as expected, Ryan Gosling certainly did. The Canadian actor’s live rendition of I’m Just Ken was a show-stopping, standing-ovation inspiring event — including appearances from co-star Simu Liu, and guitarist Slash.

Ryan Gosling, left, and Slash perform I’m Just Ken from Barbie onstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The third-most nominated film, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, struggled. Despite being up for some of the ceremony’s top prizes, it lost in every category for which it was eligible. One of its stars, Lily Gladstone, was the first Native American contender in the best actress category.

That award instead went to Poor Things actress Emma Stone, her second career win. The surrealist comedy also took home wins for makeup, production design, and costume design, making it the film with the second-most awards on Sunday. 

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Currently on his fourth time hosting the awards, Jimmy Kimmel started the ceremony with a tongue-in-cheek skit alongside Barbie‘s Margot Robbie before poking fun not at Robbie and director Greta Gerwig, but at the Academy itself.

“Now Barbie is a feminist icon thanks to Greta Gerwig — who many think deserved to be nominated for best director,” Kimmel said, to general applause. “I know you’re clapping but you’re the ones who didn’t vote for her, by the way.”

It was an extended line-skirting performance as he danced through references to this year’s biggest films and themes — from Hollywood strikes to a back and forth with Oppenheimer‘s Robert Downey Jr. ‘s on his past addiction issues. 

Given the heavy subject matter of some of this year’s leading contenders, it was an impressive display.

The first award-winner of the night was fairly expected: Da’Vine Joy Randolph won best supporting actress. A presentation of that award by past winners Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong’o, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rita Moreno and Regina King — coupled with an emotional acceptance speech by first-time nominee Randolph — made it a stand-out moment.

While the best supporting actor category was more uncertain, Robert Downey Jr.’s win was similarly the odds-on favourite. He took home the statuette for his portrayal of United States Secretary of Commerce Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer — the first win of his career.

Comedic moments

Aside from Kimmel, the celebrity presenters had some noteworthy moments. 

Along with a skit between Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling riffing on their “Barbenheimer” feud, America Ferrera and Kate McKinnon played off director Steven Spielberg when presenting the best documentary award; McKinnon tried to insist the Jurassic Park franchise was, in fact, a documentary. 

While past Batman villains Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito jokingly taunted one-time Batman actor Michael Keaton, a stand-out moment was a seemingly nude John Cena barely covering himself with an award’s envelope for best costume design.

A nude man with a shocked expression stands in front of a microphone. He is holding an envelope that says 'costume design' in front of his groin.
Actor John Cena presents the award for best costume design. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

Canadians didn’t fare as well as they had in prior years. While Halifax’s Ben Proudfoot won his second career Oscar for documentary short The Last Repair Shop, director Celine Song’s Past Lives was passed over for best picture and best original screenplay. Musician Robbie Robertson’s posthumous nomination for the score to Killers of the Flower Moon lost to Oppenheimer, and Vincent René-Lortie’s Invincible did not win its category of live-action short.  

Instead that went to Wes Anderson for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, his first Academy Award after seven other nominations going back to 2001.

Alongside Japan’s first visual effects win for Godzilla Minus One, the United Kingdom secured its first international feature win for The Zone of Interest, about the commandant of German concentration camp Auschwitz. 

Despite everyone from Mark Ruffalo to Billie Eilish, Ramy Youssef and Ava DuVernay sporting “ceasefire” pins — and a large protest taking place outside of the ceremony — director Jonathan Glazer was the only award winner to directly comment on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

A man and a woman wearing suits smile. Both are wearing red pins on their lapels.
Finneas O’Connell, left and Billie Eilish pose ahead of the Academy Awards. Both wore ‘ceasefire’ pins — alluding to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. (Marleen Moise/Getty Images)

“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,” Glazer said during his acceptance speech. 

“Whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza — all the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?”

Huge night for Oppenheimer at the 96th Oscars

The movie Oppenheimer had a huge night at the 96th annual Academy Awards winning 7 awards out of 13 nominations. Canadian Ben Proudfoot also won his second Oscar for his short documentary The Last Repair Shop.

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