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The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Wins, Snubs and a Nearly Naked John Cena

A commentary on the 96th Annual Academy Awards

The 96th Oscar’s ceremony—hosted by Jimmy Kimmel—took place on Sunday, March 1 2024. Although typical, the award show not only dropped jaws, but dropped the ball when it came to the recognition of performances and films. A shock to no one, “Oppenheimer” won best picture. The movie took home a total of seven Oscars, two of which were director Christopher Nolan’s first academy awards. Cillian Murphy, who plays Oppenheimer himself, won best actor; and Robert Downey Jr. won best supporting actor alongside him. 

Instead of just one person presenting for each of the big four (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress), there were five legacy presenters, each one paying a meaningful tribute to their designated nominee. This detail brought plenty of emotions to an already exciting moment, a tradition that will hopefully carry on for many years to come.

Emma Stone won best actress for her performance in “Poor Things.” Many believed that the award should have gone to Lily Gladstone instead, for her captivating role in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Gladstone is the first Native American actress ever nominated for the award; after nearly a century of film appreciation, you’d think it would have happened sooner. It’s likely it will be a long wait until another Native American actress gets nominated. Stone herself seemed shocked at her own win, and said to Gladstone during her speech, “I share this with you.”

“Barbie” was the most controversial topic of the Oscars. It was the highest grossing film of 2023 (its worldwide box office earnings totaled to over $1.4 billion), yet its director and lead, Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, received no nominations. And still, the ceremony frequently played the “Barbie” soundtrack, joked about ‘Barbenheimer’ and even featured two live performances from the movie.

Despite “Barbie” only winning a single Oscar (Best Original Song went to Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell for “What Was I Made For”), a dazzling performance by Ryan Gosling stole the show. Gosling sang his boy-ballad “I’m Just Ken” from the “Barbie” movie in a hot pink, glittery tux. Amidst his army of Kens, he waltzed through the audience, getting Gerwig, Robbie and America Ferrera to sing along. Slash from Guns N’ Roses, who played guitar on the original recording, also made a surprising appearance during the performance as he stood back to back with Gosling; an unlikely yet super duo.

“I’ve always loved Ryan Gosling. His performance was great, and the pink suit was a nice touch,” said Summit junior Andra Lavik. “Was it a little over the top? Maybe. Was it spectacular? Absolutely.”

But during the singing and dancing, even Gosling seemed baffled by the fact that he was performing “I’m Just Ken” from the movie that was all about recognizing women. An advertisement for the Oscars acknowledged this snub. It featured a conversation between Kimmel, Gosling and Ferrera, where Gosling realizes neither “Barbie” or Gerwig were nominated, and screams at this revelation.

In perhaps the most shocking moment of the night, John Cena ironically presented the award for Best Costume Design almost completely naked, with nothing but the envelope to cover up. The bit was a reference to the 1974 Oscars, in which a man streaked across the stage during a monologue. Something as bold as this kept the show interesting (and definitely engaging), racking up Kimmel’s points for his hosting abilities. Kimmel eventually wrapped a spare curtain around him, but it was not enough to stifle the reaction from both the live audience and at-home-viewers. Robbie was captured trying to cover her laughter, and many other celebrities were left stunned throughout the entire skit.

“John Cena was very interesting, but funny I guess,” said Lavik. 

Yet in the midst of all the laughter and glamor, world issues remained a prevalent theme throughout the night. Before the official show even began, stars walked the red carpet, many of them wearing a red pin to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Mark Ruffalo, Billie Eilish and others sported the pins throughout the night, displaying how even in the excitement of the Oscars, the world should still be focusing on larger issues. 

“I think it’s good that people were protesting for a cease fire. It’s good to force people to pay attention to important issues at such a big event like that,” said Molly Fleck, a Summit junior. 

Hundreds of protestors chanting “Long Live Palestine” blocked the streets of Los Angeles prior to the show, making many attendees late to the ceremony. Rather than remain ignorant of these issues, celebrities with such platforms, money and influence should educate themselves and speak out for those who can’t. It’s not that celebrities should be held accountable for situations across the world. They should take opportunities like the Oscars to raise awareness and evoke the government to take action. 

While he was accepting the Best International Feature Film award for “The Zone of Interest,” director Johnathan Glazer stated that, “Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked, an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October the seventh in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims, this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

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About the Contributor
Scout Crockett
Scout Crockett, Features Editor

Scout prides herself in her journalistic instincts and exquisite taste when it comes to music and films (she’s an avid Bowie listener and her favorite movie is Zoolander). When she isn’t writing lengthy articles, Scout is most likely found curating her unachievable dream closet on Pinterest, navigating her endless stacks of books, or enjoying an overpriced latte—all while procrastinating her heaps of homework. Scout is excited to continue her work at The Pinnacle as one of this year's Features editors!

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