Words by Demet Kamburoglu

Oppenheimer wins Best Picture at 2024 Academy Awards by Patrick T. Fallon/ AFP/ Getty Images

Kicked off by host Jimmy Kimmel’s satiric commentary and continued with an unexpected scenery of nudity by John Cena, this year’s Academy Awards was celebrated in a lengthy ceremony with the most renowned celebrities of the American world.

Starting the night with the Best Actress in a Supporting Role, the prize went to Da’Vine Joy Randolph for her performance in The Holdovers. Although the film was nominated for five awards in total, it came ahead in the Best Actress category only. The stage was home to emotional moments as Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s speech put tears into the eyes of co-star Paul Giamatti.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph by Mike Blake/Reuters

While the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film was given to War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko, the Academy Award for the Best-Animated Feature film went to The Boy and The Heron by Hayao Miyazaki. The film was based on the aftermath of a child’s life after his mother’s passing, which led him to a mysterious and mythical realm of being.

Best Original Screenplay Oscar went to Anatomy of a Fall: a courtroom drama film on the anatomy of marriage. Throughout the plot of the awarded film, a woman gets accused of the murder of her husband, and the audience remains witness to the dissolving pieces of the secret life of a marriage. Written collectively by real-life partners Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, the film is now on the board of Academy Awards.

Photograph: Chris Pizzello/AP

Moving on, the Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to American Fiction by Cord Jefferson, a satire film adapted from the novel Erasure by Percival Everett. One of the most unexpected highlights of the night was John Cena’s delivery for the Best Costume Design as he walked onto the stage of the Academy with no clothes on. Joined by the laughter of the A-list audience, Cena continued onto joke about the importance of costumes. Eventually, Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos was awarded the Oscar for the Best Costume Design, the Best Production Design, and the Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

As The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer won the Best International Feature Film Award, the writer and director honoured his proud moment by giving space to the war in Gaza in his acceptance speech. The awarded film was on the (almost) mundane real-life events of an Auschwitz commandant and his family, signalling the binaries of privilege and the absurdity of political extremes.

Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present. 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.

Jonathan Glazer
The Zone of Interest team by EPA

Much awaited, Robert Downey Jr. is now an actor with an Oscar Award for his role in Oppenheimer in the league of Best Supporting Actor. Welcoming a chapter of a consistent strike of success for Oppenheimer, Robert Downey Jr thanked his terrible childhood and the Academy for the award while highlighting “[exactly] in that order.” Scoring the most Oscar nominations of this year, the blockbuster film Oppenheimer left the stage with 8 prizes in total. The highest-grossing R-rated film was one of the most famous cinematic moments of the previous year, telling the story of the atom bomb’s founder.

Robert Downey Jr. by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Being nominated for the Academy Award for the first time, Cillian Murphy was the focus of the cameras the majority of the night. More than an actor, a cultural icon of today – Cillian Murphy was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his epic role in Oppenheimer, celebrated with a lengthy moment of applause in the crowd. Murphy didn’t forget to dedicate his award to “the peacemakers everywhere.”

I am a very proud Irishman standing here tonight.

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

One of the most anticipated moments of the night was the Best Actress Award given to Emma Stone for her memorable role in Poor Things. Holding up her much-deserved prize, Stone shared her awe with the rest of the crowd.

Emma Stone by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Academy Awards were home to many touching moments in the quest to highlight the current political context. Documenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 20 Days in Mariupol shed light on the realities of Ukrainian lives of today. As the team came to the Academy’s stage to collect their award for the Best Documentary Feature Film, a cloud of grief was emphasised in their words, stands and clothing choices. Followed with a loud applause from the audience, the director, Mstyslav Chernov, remarked his wish to not have the opportunity to direct this film.

I wish to be able to exchange this (for) Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities.

Mstyslav Chernov
20 Days in Mariupol Team by Mike Blake/Reuters

The night also contained well-designed shows by Ryan Gosling for “I’m Just Ken,” Becky G with “The Fire Inside,” and Jon Batiste with “It Never Went Away.” A stripped version of the hit “What Was I Made For” by Billie Eilish and Finneas was also performed by the awarded artists.

Here is a list of winners who took home their awards.

Oscars 2024 winners:

  • Best picture: Oppenheimer
  • Best director: Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
  • Best actress: Emma Stone – Poor Things
  • Best actor: Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
  • Best supporting actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers
  • Best supporting actor: Robert Downey Jr. – Oppenheimer
  • Best original screenplay: Justine Triet and Arthur Harari – Anatomy of a Fall
  • Best adapted screenplay: Cord Jefferson – American Fiction
  • Best animated feature: The Boy and the Heron
  • Best animated short: War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  • Best international feature: The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom)
  • Best documentary feature: 20 Days in Mariupol
  • Best documentary short: The Last Repair Shop
  • Best live action short: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
  • Best score: Ludwig Göransson – Oppenheimer
  • Best original song: Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell – What Was I Made For? from Barbie
  • Best sound: Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn – The Zone of Interest
  • Best production design: James Price, Shona Heath and Zsuzsa Mihalek – Poor Things
  • Best cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema – Oppenheimer
  • Best makeup and hairstyling: Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier, and Josh Weston – Poor Things
  • Best costume design: Holly Waddington – Poor Things
  • Best editing: Jennifer Lame – Oppenheimer
  • Best visual effects: Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima -Godzilla Minus One