The 96th Academy Awards unfolded Sunday night in Hollywood, with Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic Oppenheimer dominating yet another awards, this time securing a remarkable seven Oscars. 

Nolan picked up his first best director Oscar, while his leading actor, Cillian Murphy made history by becoming the first Irish-born winner of the best actor award. Oppenheimer continued its triumphs by winning in categories for editing, cinematography and score.

Following its defeat in the Barbenheimer box office showdown last year, Oppenheimer redeemed itself when Robert Downey Jr. secured his first Oscar win for best supporting actor, beating out Ryan Gosling for his portrayal as Ken in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. 

In a poignant moment, upon winning his first Oscar, Murphy dedicated his award “to the peacemakers everywhere,” a subtle nod to the demonstrators outside, marching down Sunset Boulevard calling for a “ceasefire now”, while protesting Israel’s war in Gaza. 

At the ceremony, prominent celebrities such as Billie Eilish and Mark Ruffalo were seen wearing red pins in support of a ceasefire (Artists4Ceasefire) between Israel and Hamas, signalling their stance on the conflict.

Despite Oppenheimer’s impressive victories, for many, the most memorable moment of the evening was Gosling’s performance of his nominated song “I’m Just Ken” in a hot pink, diamond studded suit. 

Gosling displayed the best kind of Kenergy during his five-minute performance, accompanied by a group of dancers in tuxedos. While his performance was a spectacle, it was not Kenough to win the Oscar. 

Barbie managed to secure only a single award, clinching the coveted Best Original Song Oscar for Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” This is the second time Eilish has won the Oscar for Best Original Song, making her the youngest two-time Oscar winner in history. She won her first Oscar in 2021 for the song “No Time to Die” from the James Bond film of the same name. 

Overall, the 96th Academy Awards ceremony proved to be a captivating blend of triumphs, flamboyant surprises, and poignant reminders of the world outside of Hollywood.