The Oscars celebrated their 96th annual award ceremony on Sunday March 10, 2024. With over 19.5 million people watching, the 2024 Academy Awards attracted their largest audience in four years. 

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the Oscars for the fourth time, having been the host in 2017, 2018 and 2023. 

Kimmel opened the ceremony by acknowledging that 2023 was a strong year for film. He gave nods to the directors and actors in Oppenheimer, Barbie, Poor Things, American Fiction, the Holdovers and many others. 

Overall, the program moved quickly and smoothly with jokes and musical performances in between awards. Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell performed “What Was I Made For” from Barbie. Eilish later won the Oscar for “Best Original Music,” making her and O’Connell the youngest people to ever win two Oscars

Pictured above from left to right is Finneas O’Connell and Billie Eilish holding their 2024 Oscar awards (Photo courtesy of @wishuwereebillie Instagram).

Ryan Gosling performed a memorable rendition of “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie with a guest appearance from Slash of Guns ‘n Roses.

The awards and nominations were dominated by Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which won seven Oscars overall and landed six other nominations. Cillian Murphy won “Best Actor in a Lead Role” for his performance as Robert Oppenheimer. 

Robert Downey Jr. won “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” for his performance as Lewis Strauss. Christopher Nolan won  the Oscar for “Best Director” and gave a heartfelt speech, thanking numerous people and organizations, as well as his audience. 

Pictured above is Robert Downey Jr. who won “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” for his performance as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer (Photo courtesy of @pdepeliculas.pr Instagram).

“Movies are just a little bit over a hundred years old. Imagine being there a hundred years into painting or theater. 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. Thank you very much,” said Nolan.

Cord Jefferson, writer/director of American Fiction, won the Oscar for “Best Adapted Screenplay.” Originally a journalist and later a TV writer, American Fiction is Jefferson’s first film. He gave an inspirational speech about how his idea was turned down multiple times before he was given a chance. He explained the importance of giving people a chance to express themselves creatively. 

“I’ve talked a lot about how many people passed on this movie, and I worry that sometimes it sounds vindictive,” he said.  “It’s more a plea to acknowledge and recognize that there are so many people out there who want the opportunity that I was given.” 

Overall, this year’s increased viewership suggests that many found the Oscars to be entertaining.

By Nathanael Wilhelm

Digital Journalism Major and Film Minor at Fairfield University

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