Oppenheimer's triumph at the Oscars, Garrone remains out. Emma Stone and Cillian Murphy best actors


By John

With seven Oscars, the 2024 Oscar night belonged to Oppenheimer: best film, best leading actor (Cillian Murphy) and supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr), best director Christopher Nolan and then editing, cinematography and best original soundtrack: Universal's maxi-biopic on the father of the atomic bomb Robert J. Oppenheimer, which arrived on the eve with 13 nominations, swept away the awards on an evening without incidents and in which politics did not remain on the sidelines.

Italy suffered from Matteo Garrone's disappointmentwhich reached the final with the emigration odyssey I Captain and was beaten by The Zone of Interest, the important and terrible film by the British Jonathan Glazer about the Holocaust told from outside the walls of Auschwitz which also won the Oscar for best sound.

Having displaced Greta Gerwig's Barbie since the beginning of the awards season, Oppenheimer's only potential rival remained Poor Creatures!, by Yorgos Lanthimos. Golden Lion in Venice, the eccentric remake of the Frankenstein saga took home four awards out of eleven nominations, including production design, make up and costumes plus the statuette for best actress Emma Stone.

«Lanthimos gave me a second life with Bella Baxter», said the star who, at the second Oscar after La La Land, beat the other favorite Lily Gladstone from Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon: the only duel that it had truly created suspense until the very end.

If Gladstone had won, she would have been the first Native American to win one of Hollywood's most prestigious honors. Scorsese's film had 10 nominations and was the loser of the evening. There were few successes for women after the exclusion of Greta Gerwig from the directorial awards: both Celine Song and Justine Triet (who however won the original screenplay award with her husband Arthur Harari for Anatomy of a Fall) gave way to Nolan confirms himself as the most influential director of his generation.

Barbie, Oppenheimer's rival since the day they were released simultaneously in theaters in July, was left almost empty-handed, with the only statuette for best original songWhat was I made for by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas who beat the house I'm Just Ken presented by Ryan Gosling in the amazing performance dressed in shocking pink with dozens of dancers in old Hollywood style.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the center of protests outside the Dolby, was on people's minds even inside the ceremony: Eilish, Ramy Yousef, Mark Ruffalo, Ava du Vernay were among the stars who wore the campaign's red pin Artists4 Ceasefire while Glazer, awarded for the film on the Shoah, spoke of “all the victims of dehumanization”, both the Palestinians trapped in the Strip and the hostages captured on April 7 by Hamas militiamen.

It wasn't the only conflict evoked at Dolby: Mstyslav Chernov, the director of 20 Days in Mariupol awarded for best documentary, condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine while a still of the 2023 winner, Navalny, was projected at the opening of the in Memoriam segment with the accompaniment of Partirò by Andrea Bocelli with his son Matteo. There was then an exchange between Donald Trump and Kimmel: the former president couldn't resist going on a tirade on his Truth Social platform against “the worst host ever”, whereupon the host, reading the 'review' before curtain fell, he commented: “Thanks for watching, but isn't it past curfew time in prison?”

The two supporting actors provided the most emotional moments: both Davide Joy Randolph for The Holdovers and Downey Jr. had victory in their pockets and their speeches from the podium made people laugh and cry. Dàvine sobbed as she evoked all the people who accompanied her in life, starting with her mother, Downey Jr. turned to his wife, «my vet, who found me when I was an abandoned stray puppy and brought me back to life. I – added the actor who came out of a series of battles against every type of addiction that had led him to spend almost a year in prison and others in rehabilitation – needed this film more than they needed me.”