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The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Top three worst moments from this year’s Oscars

For as long as I can remember, my family and I have watched the Oscars, and for as long as I can remember, I have scoffed at the Oscars. Although they are the most “prestigious” award show, for years, the Academy has made bad choice after bad choice, continually giving awards to what I consider superficial or vapid films. For instance, in 2006, the now-irrelevant “Crash” won Best Picture over the ground-breaking film “Brokeback Mountain.” In 1990, although both attempted to tackle race in America, the limp and surface-level “Driving Miss Daisy” won Best Picture over Spike Lee’s revolutionary “Do The Right Thing” and by 2019, the Academy still hadn’t learned their lesson, when given, once again, two films that handled race in America, they gave Best Picture to the controversial “Green Book” over Spike Lee’s powerful “BlacKkKlansman.” But for me, the most unbelievable moment might just be Chadwick Boseman’s loss after his death in 2020. In 2021, the award for Best Actor was moved and replaced Best Picture as the last award given in order to memorialize Chadwick Boseman, who was sure to win Best Actor. However, Chadwick Boseman did not win, and instead, 84-year-old Tony Hopkins, who wasn’t even at the ceremony, won Best Actor!  

So, with all of these scornful, genuinely rude, and even ridiculous snubs and losses, it’s a wonder I still watch the Academy Awards. Yet, I do, even if just to loudly scoff at whatever poor choice the Academy made next to my half-asleep parents. But with another Academy Awards in the books, here are, in my opinion, the top three worst moments from this year’s Oscars. 


  1. Emma Stone wins Best Actress

Do not get me wrong – I love Emma Stone and her incredible performance in “Poor Things,” but nonetheless, tears of shock pricked my eyes when they announced her name as the Best Actress. Emma’s surprised face matched my own at her win, and that shock, and honestly mild outrage on my part, is because of the wonderful, talented, and gorgeous human being and actress named Lily Gladstone, who absolutely blew me away in “Killers of the Flower Moon” with her chilling and powerful depiction of Mollie Burkhart. In my opinion, her performance,  without a doubt, deserved the award more. Yet, by picking Stone (who has already won an Academy Award!) and snubbing Gladstone, the Academy demonstrated that the Oscars are still biased and dominated by white people, even when Gladstone’s performance was stronger and had been a favorite of almost every other award show. 

  1. “Oppenheimer” wins Best Picture

I mean, I know I can’t be surprised. Considering Christopher Nolan’s extensive contributions to film history, it was honestly about time that he won an Academy Award, especially for such a beautifully constructed and powerfully performed film. However, personally, I thought that while Nolan was a solid choice, the groundbreaking film “Zone of Interest” deserved the award more for its deeply powerful but disconcertingly pertinent message and highly innovative filmmaking. As the director of “Zone of Interest” Jonathon Glazer said, “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.’ Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst.”

  1. Robert Downey Jr. wins Best Supporting Actor

Ok, yes – he’s Robert Downey Jr., he’s fantastic, iconic, wonderful and he’s a remarkable actor, but if I’m being honest, was he really the “Best Supporting Actor” of 2023? For his overly indulgent portrayal of Lewis Strauss in “Oppenheimer?” In my opinion, if the Academy is judging that category on actual performance in a film, then the award should have gone to Sterling K. Brown or Mark Ruffalo, but since they seemed to judge it by the fact that he’s the beloved and famed Robert Downey Jr, then yes, he deserved it. 


All in all, although Gladstone’s loss, and Oppenheimer’s many, many wins irked me, “The Zone of Interest” winning Best International Feature Film and Da’Vine Joy Randolph winning Best Supporting Actress were more than well deserved. Nonetheless, the 2024 Academy Awards demonstrated to me that the Oscars still have a lot of work to do to ensure that under-represented communities’ contributions to filmmaking are celebrated, as for far too long, only a select number of voices, identities, and subsequent middling films or performances have been spotlighted. 

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Dinah '25
Dinah '25, Photo Editor
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