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‘Oppenheimer’ Dominates Oscars 2024 with 7 Wins Amidst Political Unrest: A Night of Triumph and Reflection

The Oscars held in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 10. The highly anticipated biopic “Oppenheimer” took home 7 awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Score, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography, becoming the biggest winner this year. The Best Actor Award was won by Irish actor Cillian Murphy, who played physicist Oppenheimer; Hollywood actress Emma Stone won the award for “Poor Thing” back.

This film industry event unfolds in the shadow of the war in Ukraine and Gaza. Political protests have affected the red carpet activities and also turned the spotlight of the Oscars to the ongoing war.

“Oppenheimer,” which won best picture, tells the story of the race to build the first atomic bomb during World War II. In addition to its critical acclaim, this three-hour historical drama about science and politics became an unexpected box office hit, grossing more than $950 million worldwide.

Director Christopher Nolan won his first Academy Award for Best Director for this film. Previously, Nolan has won many important Best Director awards, such as the Golden Globe Award, the British Academy Film Award, the Critics’ Choice Award, and the Directors Guild of America Award.

Nolan thanked the Oscars for the honor and pointed out that the history of movies is just over 100 years old. “We don’t know where this incredible journey is going to go, but knowing that you think I am a meaningful part of it, for me, that’s the whole world.”

Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr., who plays “Iron Man,” also won the first statuette of his career through his performance in “Oppenheimer,” which became the pinnacle moment of his ups and downs as an actor. The 58-year-old Downey was nominated for an Oscar in 1993, but his career declined due to drug problems. After changing his mind, he returned to the public eye with “Iron Man.”

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The ceremony comes as protests over the war in Gaza have blocked traffic around the Oscars, delaying the stars’ arrival on the red carpet and turning the Oscars’ focus to the Strip. Some protesters shouted “Shame!” at people trying to enter the ceremony.

British director Jonathan Glazer won the Academy Award for Best International Film for his chilling Auschwitz film “The Zone of Interest” (also known as “Dream Camp”). In his acceptance speech, Glazer linked the “dehumanization” depicted in his film to today’s times.

Glazer said the film explores violence for all people and shows the worst-case scenarios that result from losing humanity, which is also relevant to current global conflicts. “Whether it’s the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attacks on Gaza, Faced with all the victims who are dehumanized. How do we resist?” Glazer’s remarks were met with cheers and applause.

In addition to the war in Gaza being the focus of attention, so is the war in Ukraine. The news documentary “20 Days in Mariupol” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. The day Ukrainian journalist and filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov learned of his selection, his hometown was bombed by Russia.

Chernov spoke forcefully about Russia’s invasion, stressing that “our hearts are with Ukraine.” “This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history,” Chernov said. “I’m honored. But I’m probably the first director to stand on this stage and say, I wish this film had never been made.”

In addition, the Japanese cartoon “Heron and the Boy” won the best-animated feature film, unexpectedly defeating “Spider-Man: Across the Universe” (Taiwanese translation: “Spider-Man: Across the New Universe”; Hong Kong translation: “Spider-Man: Jump into the Spider-Verse” universe”). The 83-year-old Japanese animation master Shun Miyazaki did not show up to receive the award. He won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003 for “The Hidden Girl.”

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Another Japanese film, “Godzilla-1.0,” won the Best Visual Effects Award. It was the first time a Japanese team won this technical award, setting a new record for Japan.

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