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REACTION: My Oscars opinions

KentWired Illustration by Clare Rodgers

As J. Robert Oppenheimer said, “Now I am become death.” It’s time to review the Oscars. On March 10, the 96th Academy Awards grazed our screens. As always, the Oscars were a celebration of the artistry that brings millions of people together: movies. 

During the awards, which were once again hosted by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, many nominees took home their first-ever award, while others took home their second and others left with still no awards to their name.

Still, the night was magical to anyone and everyone involved, and for the first time in years, I actually agreed with 95% of the academy’s choices.

Let’s dive right in as we recap and discuss some major winners of the night, all the musical performances and my opinions on who should and shouldn’t have won. 

Starting out, “The Zone of Interest” took the award for Best International Feature Film. A deserving win since the film is a very disturbing look into genocide and the people who live normal lives while others are being oppressed, something very important for people in today’s world to see.

Even the film’s director, Jonathan Glazer, spoke about the film’s meaning, saying, “Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. 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 the 7th in Israel, or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims, this humanization, how do we resist?”  

Multiple songs were performed throughout the night, all of which were nominees for Best Original Song. Ultimately, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell performed and took home the award for their song, “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie.” This is Billie Eilish’s second Oscar after winning the same award last year for her song, “No Time to Die,” from the James Bond film of the same name.

Eilish’s win was well deserved, as her song was the song of the summer and tells an emotional story about being a woman in today’s world, similarly to the film it debuted in. 

Other performances included, but wasn’t limited to, The Osage Tribal Singers’ “A Song For My People” from “Killers of the Flower Moon” and my favorite performance of the night, Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie.” Gosling’s performance was dazzling as he wore a sparkling pink rhinestone jacket and even featured his fellow “Kens” as backup dancers. Gosling interacted with the audience by handing the mic to people like Margot Robbie, Emma Stone and America Ferrera. He truly danced the night away with this one.   

Best Director went to the one and only Christopher Nolan for his incredible work on “Oppenheimer.” This was Nolan’s first win after being a long-running pioneer for the film industry for many years. There is no one more deserving of the Oscar than him. His ability to capture the real-life likeness of some very important people in a span of three hours is talent at its absolute best. 

Well, this is it. We’re down to the final five. 

For Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Robert Downey Jr. won his first award for his role as Lewis Strauss in “Oppenheimer.” Downey’s win was the one award I absolutely wanted to happen, so I am very happy about this one. In his speech, he brings up his struggle with a drug addiction and how he worked incredibly hard for this award. 

As for the actress, Da’Vine Joy Randolph took home the award for her role as Mary in “The Holdovers,” which was my favorite film of last year. Randolph mentioned her late grandmother in her speech and how she did everything for her. This was Randolph’s first Oscar, which she deserved beyond comprehension after her stellar performance.

She was my No. 1 choice for the award. 

Now, for the most part, I agreed with the winners for the Oscars for Best Actor/Actress. Cillian Murphy took home his first-ever win for his role as the title character in “Oppenheimer.”

I don’t think I could choose someone I think deserved this award more than Murphy. His performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer is beyond tantalizing. To take a very real man with so much importance and influence and highlight every part of his life so seamlessly, including the bad parts, makes Murphy one of the best actors alive today. 

However, I did not agree with the winner of Best Actress. Emma Stone took home the award for her role as Bella Baxter in “Poor Things.”

This was her second award ever after winning for her role in “La La Land” in 2017. While her performance in the film was wonderful, I truly believed that Lily Gladstone’s performance in Martin Scorcese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” was the best performance of 2023. Though I love and adore Emma Stone, Gladstone’s win would have made history as the first Native American to win an Oscar. 

The final award of the night was Best Picture, presented by Steven Spielberg. Per my predictions, “Oppenheimer” was the winner. The film is truly a modern classic that highlights one of the darkest and most important parts of our history. The filmmaking and acting is truly a masterpiece through and through. 

I know that personally, I can’t wait for the Oscars next year. We have so many promising films and performances coming this year.

So, keep on watching my fellow film buffs. It’s going to be a great year.

Nick Keller is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].                        

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    DotMar 21, 2024 at 8:09 am

    Once again, you crushed it!!!