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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The 2023 Awards Season ended in style with the 96th Academy Awards:

One of the best Oscars in recent history
Photo by: Andy Scoggins
A colorful collage of the Oscar night’s best moments: Emma Stone (top left), Ryan Gosling (bottom left), Cillian Murphy (bottom right), and Da’Vine Joy Randolph (top right) pose as Messi the canine actor (center) steals the show.

The 96th Academy Awards Ceremony was held on March 10, 2024, accompanied by spectacular live performances, well-deserved victories, and a sense of collectivism not felt among Hollywood in a good while.

As a longtime viewer of the Oscars and the nominated films, I have my own opinions of what films deserved more or less recognition than what was awarded. But those opinions will not interfere with the point of this article – to highlight the main events and compare the show as a whole to previous years.

To begin, this is the first season in which the awards began earlier, at 4 p.m. PDT instead of the usual 5 p.m. start time. This allowed the show to conclude at a much more reasonable hour around 7:30.

This marks Jimmy Kimmel’s fourth time hosting the Academy Awards, and one could see how comfortable he’s become in this position. The show began with a long monologue from Kimmel complimenting most of the big-name nominees while humbling them and breaking down some of the academy’s self-importance.

“This is a coalition of strong, hard-working, mentally tough American laborers; women and men who would 100% for sure die if we even had to touch the handle of a shovel,” Kimmel said before inviting the behind-the-scenes production team on stage to take a bow.

Kimmel would periodically check in with the audience to crack a joke or two, but he never presented any of the awards himself. Instead, each award was presented by a different celebrated celebrity or group of stars. In fact, this was the first time where I felt that the presenter’s speeches outshined some of the acceptance speeches.

Twins Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito both went up to announce the winners for Visual Effects and Editing, but not before bonding over their shared hate for Michael Keaton’s Batman who stared at them with bravado from his seat.

Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling had more of a playful rivalry on stage as they debated Barbie v. Oppenheimer and rolled an honorary clip show for stuntmen in films across history. I personally think “Best Stunt Work” should have its own category, but that’s a discussion for another time.

And while John Cena’s nude musculature brought everyone in the arena and at home to tears (of laughter), it was the presenters of the best acting performance categories that got me excited. For the second time in the academy’s history (since 2009), five previous best-performance winners were invited on stage to monologue and celebrate a specific nominee.

As they cut back and forth from Nicolas Cage to Paul Giamatti or Jamie Lee Curtis to Jodie Foster, I couldn’t help but admire the long history of this event. Tim Robbins honored Robert DeNiro but misspoke, calling his most recent performance “Oscar-winning” instead of “Oscar-worthy,” which got a big laugh from the audience and a sly smile from DeNiro himself. This was one of the major mistakes seen throughout, which is a testament to how smooth the whole night went.

I can’t undersell the acceptance speeches though, those were clipped and reshared repeatedly as usual. Emma Stone and Da’Vine Joy Randolph both shed tears during their speeches, which was both heartwarming and inspiring, but I have to highlight the brave speakers who decided to touch on the ongoing humanitarian crises in Gaza and Ukraine.

As “The Zone of Interest” won the award for “Best Independent Feature,” Jonathan Glazer spoke about the tragedy featured in his holocaust film and how this dehumanization is still relevant and reflected today.

“Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. It 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,” Glazer said and was met with applause.

Some attendees arrived wearing red Artists4Ceasefire pins, which are buttons that represent a collective of artists and advocates who have come together in response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Israel and Palestine. Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell, Mark Ruffalo, and Ramy Youssef were among the stars who wore the same red pin.

This wasn’t the only example of a real-world event trickling into the auditorium that night. Towards the end of the show, Kimmel read aloud a tweet that went up mere moments ago from former president Donald Trump that denounced Kimmel, calling him a “less than average person trying too hard to be something he’s not.”

Kimmel immediately bounced back with an impromptu roast that brought down the house, “I’m surprised you’re still up, isn’t it past your jail time?”

Finally, I’d like to touch on the live musical performances sprinkled throughout the show. Never before have the original song nominees been given so much space for creativity. All five songs had different choreography and lighting setups for the musicians to truly shine under.

Scott George and the Osage Tribal Singers performed “Wahzhazhe” as the camera recreated the final shot from its accompanying film, “Killers of The Flower Moon.” Once the song concluded, the audience gave one of its few standing ovations to the musicians, with another going to “I’m Just Ken,” the most talked about moment of the show.

Ryan Gosling stormed the stage with a sea of handsome cowboys by his side, performing new choreography for the already iconic song. Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Adir were among the other Ken’s from the movie that danced alongside Gosling and the guitar-playing Slash from Guns N’ Roses.

The entire night had such a positive energy, unlike the infamous 2022 show (Will Smith’s Revenge) or even the 2021 show (The Clutches of Covid). Needless to say, the 96th Oscars was a night to remember… if only for Messi, the canine actor’s attendance.

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Logan Payne
Logan Payne, Reporter
Logan Payne joins us this semester as an eager reporter, excited to make his mark. Standing tall at 6’5”, Logan makes quite the first impression with his colorful Crocs and signature Seinfeld pants. Don’t be fooled by his fashion though, this reporter is resilient and juggles the many responsibilities that come with five classes and employment at Maya Cinemas. Before joining The Rampage, Logan was involved with the Roosevelt Theater Company for four years where he wrote, directed, acted, and worked backstage for many productions. He’s also a certified linguist who has always loved to read and write stories. Logan has grown very familiar with the cutting room; hours slip away when he video edits due to his perpetual perfectionism. He is well-versed in the art of film and knows that every frame shown and every note heard makes a key difference in the bigger picture. This isn’t his first time in a newsroom either; he’s put together many news packages for Roosevelt High and CART projects over the years and is more than comfortable with conducting an interview or being the handyman on set. Logan can’t work on anything without being meticulous, and this eye for detail makes him a wonderful asset to the team. This is Logan’s second semester as a journalism major here at Fresno City College, and he likes to spend his time on campus productively. When he’s not in class, he’s in the library catching up on schoolwork or building a narrative with his team in The Rampage office.

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