Hollywood’s biggest night arrived on Sunday as stars filed into Los Angeles’s Dolby Theatre for the 96th Academy Awards. In a largely by-the-books ceremony, late night personality Jimmy Kimmel returned for his fourth appearance as host.

Oppenheimer emerged as the show’s victor — taking home seven trophies by the end of the night including the coveted Best Picture award. It was Christopher Nolan’s second Oscar of the night — following the first win of his career for Best Director. 

The film’s lead and first-time nominee Cillian Murphy took home the gold for his portrayal of the titular physicist, while his co-star Robert Downey Jr. won for Best Supporting Actor — his third nomination and first win.  

The film also nabbed trophies for cinematography, score and editing, but lost out in the sound category to Best International Feature Film winner The Zone of Interest, in one of the ceremony’s most inspired technical bestowments. 

Oppenheimer became the first major blockbuster to win Best Picture since The Lord of Rings: The Return of the King in 2004 — and the third-highest-grossing Best Picture winner of all time.

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Nolan wasn’t the only overdue industry titan to win their Oscar Sunday night — arthouse auteur and indie darling Wes Anderson won Best Live Action Short Film for his Netflix original Roald Dahl adaption, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. It was Anderson’s eighth nomination — 22 years after his first nomination for The Royal Tenenbaums.

Animation legend Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron beat out the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse team to win Studio Ghibli’s second Best Animated Feature win — more than two decades since Spirited Away won in 2003. Japanese filmmakers won twice Sunday as Godzilla Minus One won Best Visual Effects.

The night’s other big winner — and source of the show’s most shocking upset — was Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. The film took home four awards, sweeping technical categories such as costume design, production design and makeup and hair styling. In the night’s penultimate category, Emma Stone won for Best Actress, triumphing over Lily Gladstone’s performance in Killers of the Flower Moon. 

The two actresses traded wins across the season’s precursor award shows — and all eyes were on Gladstone to become the first Native American performer to win an Academy Award. No one was more surprised by the result than Stone, who looked shell-shocked as Michelle Yeoh announced her name.

Barbie, 2023’s highest grossing film, walked away with just a single win in the original song category. Billie Eilish won her second award in three years alongside her brother, Finneas O’Connell, for their song, “What Was I Made For?” At 22, she became the youngest person in history to win two Oscars.

Greta Gerwig’s pink-plastered comedy still faired better than Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Bradley Cooper’s Maestro. Both films failed to win despite their 10 and seven nominations respectively. It was another Oscar-less night for Scorsese —who has seen his past four films garner 26 nominations without a single win. 

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Other Best Picture nominees —The Holdovers, Anatomy of a Fall and American Fiction each took home one award. Anatomy of a Fall and American Fiction won in the screenplay categories, while Da’Vine Joy Randolph concluded her dominating season with her Best Supporting Actress win. Randolph’s speech, an ode to individuality, was also one of the show’s best.

As always, the show ran long — topping nearly three and a half hours. Kimmel delivered a predictably bland monologue, and played it as safe as ever — save for a questionable jab at Downey Jr. ‘s past drug addiction. His hosting gig peaked with a bit featuring a clothesless John Cena, but was otherwise uneventful.

The highlight of the night’s live performances was, unsurprisingly, Ryan Gosling’s energetic rendition of his Oscar-nominated song from Barbie, “I’m Just Ken.” He was joined onstage by 65 Kens — including actors from the film. 

The segment exemplified everything the Oscars should be — a celebration of film made for lovers of the medium, and a joyful expression of how the art form can connect people from all backgrounds. Here’s hoping the award show will have fun with it more often.