Arts & Entertainment, Film and TV

The 2024 Oscars were surprisingly well done

A general sense of nervous anticipation filled the air as the red carpet unfurled for the 96th annual Academy Awards. After a few years of less-than-stellar ceremonies, many worried that this was the beginning of the end for the Oscars. Much to the delight of movie lovers around the world, this year’s broadcast seems to have started a redemption arc. As a shining example of both professionalism and celebration, this telecast should serve as a blueprint for future Oscars.

The ever-changing first award sets the tone for the rest of the night, so it’s no surprise that the slot was given to the Best Supporting Actress category. With winner Da’Vine Joy Randolph heavily favoured for months in advance, the biggest surprise of the award was the style in which it was presented. For each acting award (Best Lead and Supporting Actor/Actress), a group of five previous winners each introduced one of the category’s nominees. This presentation, resurrected from the 2009 ceremony, helped create a sense of historical significance to each win. The format provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate every performance and the significance of the nominations. It allowed for a moment of reflection and appreciation for the hard work and artistic contributions of all the artists involved, rather than solely emphasizing the winner. Some standout speeches included Nicolas Cage’s with his teasing banter with The Holdovers Best Actor nominee Paul Giamatti and Regina King’s touching tribute to The Color Purple Best Actress-nominated Danielle Brooks. 

One of the hardest things to account for when planning the show is the acceptance speeches. Never really knowing how long they will go on, many filmmakers are cut off by a swell of music playing behind them as they rush to get in their final words before being shooed offstage. This year, it seems as if the broadcast kept a general rule to hold more time for those filmmakers who opted to dedicate their speech to making a statement for the greater good. American Fiction writer and director Cord Jefferson gave a powerful message to studio executives in the room about funding smaller projects after winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, Jonathan Glazer spoke out against the ongoing genocide in Gaza during his speech accepting Best International Feature for his film The Zone of Interest, and Mstyslav Chernov gave a touching tribute to the Ukrainian people’s resilience during his Best Documentary acceptance speech for 20 Days in Mariupol

This year’s nominee class saw one of the highest percentages of non-English-language films in Oscars history, with many reaching well outside the category of Best International Feature Film, including French film Anatomy of a Fall and Japanese film Godzilla Minus One. Largely credited to the expansion of the Academy voting body, these films excelled in both craft and technical categories, creating an exciting atmosphere around the global exchange of films. 

Next year, it would be great to see translators offered for the international winners, allowing them to deliver speeches in their mother tongue if they wish to do so. Many international filmmakers, such as 2020 Best Director winner Bong Joon-Ho, bring their own translators along to the ceremony, but it would be an exciting step forward in terms of accessibility and openness for the Academy to have translators at the ready. This isn’t to say that any of the International winners gave bad speeches. Anatomy of a Fall director Justine Triet’s speech was absolutely killer, but it would have been thrilling to hear what she could have said if she had given her speech in French. 

The 2024 Oscars were a reminder of why film fans around the world love the broadcast so much: It’s a genuine celebration of an art form catered to those who make it and love it. By uplifting those in the industry and their achievements rather than striving to create moments of virality, the Oscars regained their sense of gravitas, delivering a show that left many excited for the future of the awards.

Share this:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Read the latest issue

Read the latest issue