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Commentary Entertainment

The 2024 Oscars results lacks surprise

Cillian Murphy, famed Irish introvert and ball buster, won his first Oscar for best actor for his captivating performance in “Oppenheimer.” Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When I was younger and still convinced I was going to be an actor in Hollywood or on Broadway, I would dress up in my finest dress and lay out a red blanket as my “red carpet” for my Oscars watch party. My mom would “interview me” with the wooden spoon she also used to make dinner — bowtie pasta because I wanted to be fancy. I looked forward to it every year.

I didn’t bother watching the Oscars live this year. I didn’t really see a point in sitting through three hours of an awards show only for a couple of movies to win all the awards, and I was right. “Oppenheimer,” the atomic box office hit, took home seven awards, including two of the four acting categories, best director and best picture.

I’m sure “Oppenheimer” is an incredible film, but its dominance at the 96th Oscars honestly made me wonder what the value of awards shows is anymore. 

“Barbie,” also a box office and pop culture hit this year, walked away with only one Oscar for best song. Despite being equally loved by modern day movie culture, one performed far better with critics.

It feels like there’s a disconnect between the academy’s voters and casual moviegoers like you and me. Yes, there is an obvious disconnect because their whole job is to critique movies for their performances, their production elements and their overall greatness. I judge a movie based on how it made me feel and how much I liked it, and probably most of the general public does too.

If the awards don’t reflect the public interest, what’s the point in broadcasting them for all to see? If the same movie is going to win best picture at the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the BAFTAs and the Oscars, then what is the point of sitting through all those repetitive speeches and jokes that really aren’t that funny? Critics might as well host a party for their friends, post the highlight reel on social media and save me so much time.

There was also a lot of skippable content at this year’s Oscars. 

Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue wasn’t funny. I watched it on YouTube the next day, but I was cringing alongside everyone who had to sit through the real thing. Oscar winner Robert Downey Jr. has been very open about his struggle with drug addiction in the past, and Kimmel’s swing at RDJ’s addiction was tasteless and cruel. I’ve also seen the headlines speculating that Emma Stone wasn’t too pleased about Kimmel’s joke about her movie “Poor Things” either.

Before revealing the 2024 winner in each acting category, the past five winners graced the stage to bestow compliments upon the nominees. I really liked the intent behind this concept, but it made an already too long awards show even longer and felt like a strange time to start a new tradition as the Oscars wasn’t celebrating any major milestones.

There were a few home runs during Sunday night’s award show. Ryan Gosling stole the show with his performance of “I’m Just Ken” dressed in pink, a nod to Marilyn Monroe. The winners gave wonderful speeches, but I watched most of them the next morning with the bliss of skipping through the awkward pre-award-presentation banter. Viewership peaked during the final third of the show, when Gosling took the stage and the big categories of the night were announced.

Overall, the awards show wasn’t exciting because most of the drama resulted from the crass jokes and not the anticipation of who would take home the big prize. Younger me was more than willing to watch the three-hour long award show because she had the time, but I’m not sure three minutes of Kenergy were Kenough to regain my interest and convince me to tune in next year.

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