Best and Worst Moments From the 2024 Oscars

Fittingly for an Academy Awards celebrating 2023, the year of “Barbenheimer,” the movies that made up that phenomenon commanded our attention on Sunday night, too. None of it was a surprise, exactly — we knew Ryan Gosling was going to perform the song “I’m Just Ken,” from “Barbie.” And “Oppenheimer” had been the ceremony’s front-runner since awards season started last fall. Still, we weren’t prepared for just how much the ceremony, which for the most part ran smoothly, would get a boost from those twin blockbusters. Here are the highs and lows as we saw them.

Most Charming Performance: Ryan Gosling, ‘I’m Just Ken’

America’s No. 1 Ken, the “Barbie” star Ryan Gosling — who was also nominated for best supporting actor and presented a tribute to stunt performers with Emily Blunt — brought the house down with his performance of “I’m Just Ken,” one of two nominated “Barbie” songs. In a shimmering hot pink tuxedo, backed by some of his co-stars (Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Scott Evans, Ncuti Gatwa) and a bevy of handsome men in tuxes, he danced and sang his heart out.

Gosling roamed into the audience, getting Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, America Ferrera and Emma Stone briefly on mic. He was held aloft and spun as giant “Barbie” face cutouts twirled around him. The song’s co-writer and co-producer, Mark Ronson, played guitar onstage, as did Slash from Guns N’ Roses and Wolfgang Van Halen, who had all played on the original recording. If the Oscars wanted a viral video moment, they sure got it (even though it had been announced in advance). And Gosling remains the Hollywood man with perhaps the most range. — Alissa Wilkinson

Most Charmed Film: ‘Oppenheimer’

Emma Thomas, center, one of the producers of “Oppenheimer,” speaking after the film won the Oscar for best picture.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

When “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s hit drama about the man who helped create the atomic bomb, won best picture, the victory capped a huge night for the film: seven Oscars total, including awards for director (Nolan), actor (Cillian Murphy) and supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr.).

Released last summer to glowing reviews and a worldwide box-office total nearing $1 billion, “Oppenheimer” was considered the front-runner even before awards season began. Though some presumed favorites can’t sustain their momentum over several months, “Oppenheimer” never faltered, earning top prizes from the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, BAFTAs and every major Hollywood guild along the way.

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