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Film & Tv

All the key moments you might have missed from the 2024 Oscars

From Ryan Gosling’s performance to Emma Stone’s surprise win.


March 11, 2024

From the impossibly close lead acting races to the insurgent campaigns (particularly Anatomy of a Fall’s, thanks to a certain border collie), not to mention accusations of plagiarism against a Best Picture contender, it’s certainly been a wild awards season – and it all ended here, at the 2024 Oscars. From the most breathlessly anticipated performances (here’s looking at you, Ryan Gosling) to a bevy of screen legends storming the stage to hand out statuettes, here are all the key moments you might have missed from the 96th Academy Awards.

Vanessa Hudgens made a very special announcement

The actor and musician, who was on hand to co-host the Academy’s official pre-Oscars red carpet show, arrived dressed in Chopard diamonds and a black Vera Wang couture gown which skimmed her growing baby bump – a look which, naturally, sent the internet into a tailspin. This will be her first child with her husband, baseball player Cole Tucker, with whom she tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Mexico last year.

Pro-Palestinian protesters made their voices heard

As a sizeable crowd marched towards the Dolby Theatre, blocking traffic and causing a slight delay to the start of the show, attendees like Billie Eilish and Ramy Youssef wore “Artists for Ceasefire” pins in solidarity. “We’re calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza,” Youssef said on the red carpet. “We’re calling for peace and justice, lasting justice for the people of Palestine.”

Later on, Billie had adorable red-carpet reunions with both America Ferrera and Cynthia Erivo, as did Wicked stars Ariana Grande and Michelle Yeoh.

The Osage Nation came out in full force

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Nominated for their rousing anthem, Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People) from Killers of the Flower Moon, members of the Osage Nation dazzled on the red carpet in their stunning traditional dress, and later gave a galvanising onstage performance.

Liza Koshy took a tumble – and styled it out expertly


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The actor and YouTuber had a Naomi-Campbell-at-Vivienne-Westwood moment in her towering platforms and floor-length gown – and handled it with the same finesse. That’s alright, she said smiling, as she was helped back up. “That was a manhole – y’all saw that?” she then joked, before adding, I got my ankle insurance, so we’re fine! Then, she began posing again like a pro. Elsewhere, Kirsten Dunst had a near-miss herself, courtesy of an Oscar statuette.

Erika Alexander sent her mother a very emotional message

While being interviewed by Variety on the red carpet, the American Fiction star looked straight into the camera and spoke directly to her mother. Thank you, she said, her voice breaking. Thanks for the sacrifice… this is your victory and I walk in this space because of you. Goosebumps.

The best red-carpet plus ones? Tiny inanimate animals, of course


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So it proved for the Godzilla Minus One team, the winners for Best Visual Effects, who carried miniature, multicoloured Godzillas. Bonus points, too, for their shoes, which featured terrifying claws on the heels. And as for other tiny animals at the Oscars? Shout out to Past Lives’s Teo Yoo, who wore a turtle pin in honour of his pet tortoise, Momo, who died last year. I was in tears for about three days, he confessed. Sob.

Grannies had the most fun

Sean Wang, the director of the Best Documentary Short contender Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó, brought his maternal and paternal grandmothers, Chang Li Hua and Yi Yan Fuei, to the show, and they made the best-dressed list with ease in their custom Rodarte suits. It was joyous to say the least.

There was heated debate about whether or not the real Messi the dog was in the building

One of the biggest stars to emerge from this awards season was, undisputedly, the border collie from Anatomy of a Fall, and it was confirmed ahead of the show that he would not be attending. Then, host Jimmy Kimmel posted a photo with him from the green room. Was it the real deal or a lookalike? Director Justine Triet, when asked about it on the red carpet, assured viewers, It’s not the same dog.

But then, he was seated, and it did appear to be the real Messi, though who could forget Kimmel bringing a fake Jenny the donkey from The Banshees of Inisherin on stage last year? The jury’s still out.

There was a rousing standing ovation for behind-the-scenes workers

In his fourth stint as host, Jimmy Kimmel began his monologue with a chat with Barbie, following up with a jibe at Madame Web, shouting out Greta Gerwig (and criticising her Best Director snub), and lusting after Ryan Gosling. “Ryan, you’re so hot,” Kimmel gushed. “Let’s go camping together and not tell our wives.” There were also nods to Robert Downey Jr’s, er, turbulent past, and then, on the topic of the recent strikes, Kimmel said: “We were able to make deals because of the people who rallied beside us, so before we celebrate ourselves, let’s have a very well-deserved round of applause for the people who work behind the scenes – the teamsters, the truck drivers, the lighting crew, sound, camera, gaffers, grips. All the people who refused to cross the picket line.” Cue the Oscars’s behind-the-scenes crew flooding the stage, and an enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s sensational awards season ended with a triumphant win


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Helped up to the stage by her The Holdovers co-star Paul Giamatti, Randolph was already in tears. “God is so good,” she said, shaking. “I didn’t think I was supposed to be doing this as a career. Thank you to all the people who’ve been there for me. For so long, I’ve always wanted to be different. And now I realise I just need to be myself.” No one deserved it more.

Everyone wished Yoko Ono a happy Mother’s Day

The team behind War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko collected the Oscar for Best Animated Short, and Sean Lennon ended his speech by saying: My mother turned 91 this February and today is Mother’s Day. So, could everyone please say, ‘Happy Mother’s Day, Yoko?’ The crowd dutifully obliged.

Justine Triet found the perfect antidote to a future midlife crisis

Played on by P.I.M.P.”(if you know, you know), the Anatomy of a Fall director accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with her partner and co-writer Arthur Harari, and charmed the pants off the audience yet again. It will help me through my midlife crisis I think, Triet said, looking at her golden statuette. This is a crazy year.

Cord Jefferson urged Hollywood to take more risks

This means the world to me, said the writer-director of American Fiction when collecting his prize for Best Adapted Screenplay. I’ve been talking a lot about how many people passed on this movie, and I worry that sometimes sounds vindictive. I’m not a vindictive person anymore; I’ve worked very hard to not be vindictive anymore. It’s more a plea to acknowledge and recognise that there are so many people out there who want the opportunity that I was given. I understand this is a risk-averse industry, but $200 million movies are also a risk. Instead of making one $200 million movie, try making 20 $10 million movies.”He was met with rapturous applause.

50 years on, there was a call-back to the 1974 Oscar streaker


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John Cena turned up on stage wearing Birkenstocks and almost nothing else to, fittingly, present the Oscar for Best Costume Design to Poor Things’s Holly Waddington, in a nod to the infamous streaker at the 46th Academy Awards.

Sandra Hüller teared up

When Jonathan Glazer received his Best International Film Oscar for The Zone of Interest (from The Rock and Bad Bunny, no less), his lead actress was crying – and it was beautiful to see. All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present – not to say look what they did then, rather look what we do now, the director said solemnly. Our film shows where dehumanisation 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, whether the victims of October 7 in Israel, or the ongoing attacks on Gaza.

Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling brought the Barbenheimer beef to the stage


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I’m happy we can finally put this Barbenheimer rivalry behind us, Gosling said, before the pair launched into a verbal spat that was genuinely one of the funniest moments of the night. It wasn’t that much of a rivalry,Blunt said, referencing Oppenheimer’s awards season dominance, before Gosling countered, You were riding Barbie’s coattails all summer. Her response? Thanks for Ken-splaining.

Robert Downey Jr thanked his terrible childhood

I’d like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy – in that order, said the Best Supporting Actor victor for Oppenheimer, cool as a cucumber. I needed this job more than it needed me, he continued. I stand here a better man because of it. What we do is meaningful. Back to my publicist, my agent… I’m gonna thank my stylist in case no one else does. Legend.

There was a spotlight on the Ukraine war

20 Days in Mariupol won Best Documentary, and its director, Mstyslav Chernov was cheered by the audience. This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history, he said. I’m honoured, but I’m probably the first director on this stage to say I wish I never made this film. I wish I could exchange this with Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities. I wish for them to release all the hostages, all the soldiers who are protecting their lands, all the civilians now in their jails. I cannot change the past, but we all together… we can make sure that the historical record is set straight and that the truth will prevail and that the people of Mariupol and those who’ve given their lives will never be forgotten. A standing ovation followed. Later on in the night, a clip of Alexei Navalny from the Oscar-winning documentary Navalny led the In Memoriam section.

When it came to the performances, the best was saved for last

Billie and Finneas slowed things down beautifully with their rendition of What Was I Made For?, after which both Jon Batiste and Becky G put on a show with their nominated songs, It Never Went Away from American Symphony and The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot. But, the best was saved for last: I’m Just Ken, which opened with Ryan Gosling singing in his seat in sunglasses and a sequin-encrusted hot pink suit. There were Barbie cameos, dancers galore, Slash, and spirited sing-alongs. It was messy, glorious and incredibly surreal – in short, absolutely everything we wanted it to be.


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In the end though, Billie and Finneas picked up their second Oscar for their mournful ballad. I had a nightmare about this last night, the former said, before pausing and collapsing into giggles. Thank you so much to the Academy.

Acting legends returned to the stage

In a revival of a much-loved format from 2009, legendary past winners graced the stage to hand out the four acting prizes. This meant Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong’o, Jamie Lee Curtis, Regina King and Rita Moreno coming out to bestow the prize for Best Supporting Actress, while Sam Rockwell, Tim Robbins, Ke Huy Quan, Christoph Waltz and Mahershala Ali handed out Best Supporting Actor. Then, Nicolas Cage, Matthew McConaughey, Brendan Fraser, Ben Kingsley and Forest Whitaker came out for Best Actor, as did Sally Field, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Yeoh, Charlize Theron and Jessica Lange for Best Actress. The sheer star power in the room was staggering.

Jimmy Kimmel asked Trump, Isn’t it past your jail time?

In response to Trump’s latest social media post, in which he called the show boring, the host shot back: Thank you for watching, I’m surprised you’re still – isn’t it past your jail time?

Emma Stone scored a surprise win


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The Poor Things actor looked shocked to have won over Killers of the Flower Moon’s Lily Gladstone – so much so that her dress seemed to snap open at the back on the way to the podium. My dress is broken, she said through tears. I think it happened during ‘I’m Just Ken’. This is really overwhelming. Yorgos, thank you for the gift of a lifetime. And my daughter, who’s going to be three in three days, and has turned our lives technicolour – I love you bigger than the whole sky my girl. As she left the stage, Kimmel interjected (in a nod to theMoonlight/La La Land debacle): Make sure you tear up that envelope so there’s no confusion with Best Picture.

Oppenheimer blew the competition out of the water


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Cillian Murphy took Best Actor, and the audience went wild. I’m a very proud Irish man standing here tonight,”he said. For better or for worse, we’re all living in Oppenheimer’s world, so I’d like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere. Then, Christopher Nolan received his Best Director Oscar from none other than Steven Spielberg, saying, Thank you to those who’ve been there for me and believed in me my whole career. Emma Thomas, producer of all our films and all our children – I love you.

And at the very end of the night, Thomas got her moment, too, collecting the Best Picture prize, which marked the biopic’s seventh win. I’ve been dreaming of this moment for so long,”she said. I’m so honoured to be here.