A review: The annual Oscars awards return

Nominating Ryan Gosling for Best Supporting Actor completely disregards Barbies movie theme
Nominating Ryan Gosling for Best Supporting Actor completely disregards Barbie’s movie theme

Members of the film industry entered the Dolby Theater on Sunday, March 10th, for the 96th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the fourth time and the second year in a row.

Arguably the most disappointing moment of the 2024 Oscars, in both nominations and wins, was Greta Gerwig’s Barbie being snubbed. From Ryan Gosling being nominated for his portrayal of Ken, to Margot Robbie not being nominated for her performance of Barbie and Greta Gerwig not securing a nomination for Best Director for Barbie–which was one of the biggest films of the year, as proven by the fact that it was the highest grossing film of 2023–did not do as well at the Oscars as it was predicted to. The film took home one Oscar for Billie Eilish’s song “What Was I Made For?”, despite receiving eight nominations. Of course, the films that won in the categories Barbie was nominated in were equally deserving, but it is disappointing to many fans that Barbie did not win more.

Barbie’s losses Sunday night, especially the lack of nominations for Robbie and Gerwig, felt like a disregard for the film’s theme, which highlights the lack of recognition of females in various areas of society and the idea that women have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts to be recognized. Over the 96 years that the Oscars have been held, only 62 of the 539 nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay have been women, with only 8 of those 62 nominations winning. This large gap between the amount of men and women nominated for mixed-gender categories only highlights the sexism deeply rooted in Hollywood, which has been deemed by some as a “boy’s club.” The lack of female nominations across mixed-gender categories can only be emphasized by the messages Barbie contained. Moreover, the fact that Gosling was nominated for Best Supporting Actor particularly underlines the movie’s themes. It is not that Gosling did not perform well in the film, but the fact that he was nominated and Robbie was not, feels as if the Academy members did not understand the film’s underlying messages. Besides, without Barbie, Ken is nothing.

Rose Costello ‘24 and Abby Medina ‘24 share with the Crimson that they “were very disappointed” by Barbie being snubbed, but “thought [that] Ryan Gosling’s performance [of ‘I’m Just Ken’] was exceptional and that Gerwig should have won Best Director, but [they] are glad that ‘What Was I Made For?’ won.”

The best moments of the Oscars were Gosling’s performance of “I’m Just Ken” and Messi the dog’s iconic appearance. In his performance, Gosling paid homage to Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” and included background dancers from the movie, the most notable being Simu Liu, who danced with a healing torn Achilles tendon. Messi the dog, who played a service dog in Anatomy of a Fall–which took home an award for Best Original Screenplay–could be seen “clapping” for Oscar winners.

What was probably least surprising about the Oscars was the amount of awards Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer won, taking home 7 out of 13 nominations. The film won in Best Picture, Cinematography, Film Editing, and Original Score. Nolan, Cillian Murphy, and Robert Downey Jr. notably won their first Oscars, for Directing, Actor in a Leading Role, and Actor in a Supporting Role, respectively. Though Nolan and Downey have been nominated in the past, this was the first time Murphy received a nomination from the Academy.

Will Sikes ‘26 feels “as if many of Nolan’s previous films were deserving of more recognition by the Academy, though [he] is happy that Nolan has finally won an Oscar.” Will shares that “Nolan has made several incredible films during his career, Interstellar, Inception, and several others, that have made him the most significant film makers of the 21st century.”

As for other categories, Poor Things took home Actress in a Leading Role, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Production Design. The Zone of Interest won International Feature Film and Sound. Da’Vine Joy Randolph won Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Mary Lamb in The Holdovers. The Boy and the Heron won Animated Feature Film, 20 Days in Mariupol won Documentary Feature Film, The Last Repair Shop won Documentary Short Film, War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko won Animated Short Film, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar won Live Action Short Film, Godzilla Minus One won Visual Effects, and American Fiction won Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

This year’s Oscars fared much better than last year, with an estimated 19.5 million people watching the show. With Hollywood’s biggest night behind us, fans of the film industry look forward to next year, especially with the recent release of Dune: Part Two.

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