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Oppenheimer Nukes the Oscars: Wins Best Picture, Emma Stone Surprises with Win

March 11, 2024
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Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic Oppenheimer has triumphed at this year’s Oscars taking home seven awards including best picture, best actor and best director.

The drama, telling the story of the “father of the atomic bomb”, lost the box office battle to Barbie during last summer’s Barbenheimer showdown but has now won the awards war with Greta Gerwig’s Mattel comedy winning just one Oscar for best original song.


Cillian Murphy was named best actor for his performance, beating out Paul Giamatti and Jeffrey Wright, and Robert Downey Jr was named best supporting actor, up against Robert De Niro and Ryan Gosling.

Murphy, winning his first Oscar from his first nomination, is also the first ever Irish-born winner in his category. “I’m a little overwhelmed,” he said before dedicating his award “to the peacemakers everywhere”.

Downey Jr won his first Oscar after being nominated twice before for Chaplin and Tropic Thunder. “I’d like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy in that order,” he said before later adding: “I needed this job more than it needed me.”

Nolan picked up his first best director Oscar, after being nominated previously for Dunkirk, beating out Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Glazer. When speaking about cinema in his speech he said: “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.”

The film also won for editing, cinematography and score.

Emma Stone
Emma Stone Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Emma Stone pulled a surprise, beating out favourite Lily Gladstone to be named best actress for her role in Yorgos Lanthimos’s offbeat period comedy Poor Things. It’s the actor’s second best actress Oscar after previously winning for La La Land. “It’s not about me, it’s about a team that came together to make something greater than the sum of its parts,” she said during an emotional speech.

The film also picked up awards for production design, hairstyling and makeup and costume design.

Jonathan Glazer’s German and Polish-language Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest was named best international feature, the first ever British film to win in this category. The film also won for sound.

The writer-director’s speech addressed the Israel-Palestine conflict, calling out the “dehumanisation” shown both in his film and in reality. “Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has lead to conflict for so many innocent people,” he said, “whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack in Gaza.”

Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in 70s-set drama The Holdovers after winning every major precursor award on her way to the stage. “For so long, I’ve always wanted to be different and now I realise I just need to be myself,” a tearful Randolph said in her speech. It’s the first year that two women of colour have won acting awards in the same night.


Barbie won just one award from its eight nominations, taking home the best original song Oscar for Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For?. Eilish, winning with brother and collaborator Finneas, received a standing ovation earlier in the evening after performing the song on stage. The pair previously won for No Time to Die.

Ryan Gosling performs I’m Just Ken
Ryan Gosling performs I’m Just Ken. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Gosling also performed his nominated song I’m Just Ken in a diamond-studded pink suit surrounded by dancing Kens, including stars from the film, as well as a guitar cameo from Slash.

Justine Triet and partner Arthur Harari also won best original screenplay for marital drama Anatomy of a Fall. Triet is the first French woman to win in this category. “It will help me in my midlife crisis, I think,” she joked in her speech.

Best adapted screenplay went to Cord Jefferson for American Fiction, his first big screen script. The literary comedy is an adaptation of Percival Everett’s novel Erasure.

20 Days in Mauripol, which tells of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was named best documentary feature, the country’s first ever Oscar. “I wish to be able to exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities,” war reporter turned director Mstyslav Chernov said. He added: “Cinema forms memories and memories form history.”

It was also a strong night for Japanese cinema with The Boy and the Heron named best animated feature and Godzilla Minus One beating out big-budget blockbusters to win best visual effects.

Wes Anderson also won his first ever Oscar for his Roald Dahl adaptation The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which was named best live-action short. He wasn’t in attendance to accept the award.

The ceremony was briefly delayed with reports of security issues for attendees as a result of a pro-Palestine protest disrupting traffic with hundreds of protesters marching with signs reading “No Awards for Genocide”.

Various celebrities, including Billie Eilish and Ramy Youssef, also wore red pins in support of a ceasefire in Gaza. “We really want lasting justice and peace for the Palestinian people,” the Poor Things star said on the red carpet.

Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel. Photograph: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the show by welcoming “these beautiful human actors” in attendance after a hard year of strikes. He called out Academy members for not nominating Greta Gerwig for best director, made a joke about Downey Jr’s troubled history, calling the night “one of his highest points”, the length of Killers of the Flower Moon and Bradley Cooper’s habit of taking his mother to awards shows.

After paying tribute to the writers and actors on strike in the last year, he then brought out teamsters and below-the-line members on stage. “In your upcoming negotiations, we will stand with you,” he said. Discussions are currently underway between union IATSE and AMPTP, the alliance representing studios, with threats of a possible strike looming.

Later in the night, Kimmel read a Truth Social post from Donald Trump attacking his role as host and asking ABC to replace him. “Isn’t it past your jail time,” he joked.

The ceremony brought back an old practice where a group of previous winners present acting Oscars which allowed for actors such as Lupita Nyong’o, Sam Rockwell, Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Lawrence to pay tribute to friends and co-workers.

Before the annual in memoriam segment, featuring stars such as Tom Wilkinson, Tuna Turner, Matthew Perry and Glenda Jackson, a clip was played of the late Alexei Navalny from Oscar-winning documentary Navalny. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing,” he said in the clip.

Oppenheimer has become the highest-grossing best picture winner since Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in 2004. It is also the first film to win best picture, actor and supporting actor since Ben Hur in 1960.

Nominated films that ended up empty-handed included Killers of the Flower Moon, Past Lives, Maestro, Nyad and Society of the Snow.

Last year saw Everything Everywhere All at Once win seven major awards, including best picture.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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