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96th Academy Awards - Highlights From The Press Room

Oscars 2024
By: Nikoleta Morales |Oscars 2024| Image: A.M.P.A.S.

The 96th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on March 10th 2024 and Nikoleta Morales was covering in person from the press room for Cultured Focus Magazine, dressed in a custom made Barbie style dress by House of Solana. 


This year the telecast started an hour earlier than previous years. The awards were graced once again with the iconic red carpet unlike last year which had its first champagne colored carpet. The live show was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel who brought laughter, excitement and surprises with his jokes and punchlines throughout the night. 


Some of this year’s ceremony highlights include Ryan Gosling’s iconic performance of “I am Just Ken,” which became the main reason why Emma Stone ripped her dress right before her Oscars award; naked John Cena presenting the award for Best Costume Design; previous winners announcing this year’s winners, among other fun moments. 


“Right when I came back, they sewed me back in, which was wonderful. I generally do think I busted it during, "I'm Just Ken." I was so amazed by Ryan and what he was doing, and that number just blew my mind. And I was right there, and I just was going for it, and, you know, things happen,” said Emma Stone in the press room.  


The biggest surprise of the night was “Oppenheimer” taking home seven Oscars. “Poor Things” received four Oscars. “Barbie” went home with one for Original Music by Billie Eilish, “What Was I Made For?” But despite its major and surprising loss in multiple categories, “Barbie” rocked the night away with a magical performance of “I am Just Ken” performed by Ryan Gosling. It was one of the most iconic and memorable music performances in Oscars history leaving everyone talking about it including Emma Stone, Chris Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky and many more. 


One of the most emotional acceptance speeches of the night was by Mystyslav Chernov whose film “20 Days in Mariupol” won for Best Documentary. In his speech, he addressed the war in Ukraine and the urgency to support his country. He is the first Ukrainian to win an Oscar. 


“Right now, unfortunately, Ukraine and the topic of support in Ukraine became a bargaining chip for a lot of politicians in the world, and we should just -- and I hope I remind everyone with our film that this is a humanitarian catastrophe, and this is not a political question. This is a humanitarian emergency, and a matter of supporting the civilians that are being attacked and being killed. It's not my job to try to convince anyone of anything. Our job is to provide as much context and information as possible, and I hope that decisions will be made but according to this information that we are giving,” said Chernov in the press room. 


Nikoleta Morales was selected to ask Best Costume Design winner for “Poor Things,” Holly Waddington, a question after her Oscar win.


Holly Waddington
Oscar Winner Holly Waddington | Image: A.M.P.A.S.


Nikoleta Morales: Congratulations on your win and incredible work through the designs in “Poor Things.” So my question to you is, where do you get inspired? And where do you find magic to create these incredible costumes? Because, you know, when the actress wears the costumes, it's almost like they create that magic, but also the costumes themselves are part of the magical being. So I just want to know where do you draw inspiration from, and which costume is your favorite?


Holly Weddington: Interesting. Well, I mean, I think I draw inspiration from everything and everywhere. Normal stuff actually. I'm most inspired by the everyday things in life actually. For “Poor Things,” you know, my collaborators were very inspiring. Working with Shona Heath and James Price and the stuff that they were coming up with was really exciting, and I was trying to respond to that. And also looking -- you know, the history of fashion is pretty fantastic. And what was the second part? Which was my favorite costume? I do really love this weird lobster tail that she wears in the garden early on in the house. I think that's my favorite piece of costume. I like the blue jacket and the yellow knickers too.


Video: A.M.P.A.S.


Special thanks to House of Solana for the Nikoleta Morales gown and jewelry was by Cliz Joyeria.

Images: Nikoleta Morales


Da’Vine Joy Rudolph won for Best Supporting Actress for “The Holdovers.” She addressed her win with a humble answer. “And so the type of work I do, my strive for authenticity, for quality allows there to be a new standard set where we can tell universal stories in black and brown bodies, and it can be accepted and enjoyed amongst the masses. It's not just black TV or black movies or black people, but instead a universal performance that can be enjoyed by all,” said Rudolph in the press room. 


Cillian Murphy became the first Irish to win an Oscar. He won for Best Actor for “Oppenheimer.” “The movie is so special to me and myself and Chris have such a special relationship that I just feel very privileged to be continuing to work with him and I'm very proud of at, you know, that this is a film that is provocative and that asks questions and is challenging but yet, you know, so many people want to see it.  So I'm really, really proud of that,” said Murphy in the press room. 


A big surprise of the night was the award for Best Actress. The Oscar went to Emma Stone for “Poor Things” despite the anticipated win for Lily Gladstone for “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Everyone in the press room cheered as Stone received her award. “So I really miss playing her ever since we wrapped filming, which was a long time ago. It was like two and a half years ago. I miss Bella. And I'm really grateful that we got to celebrate the film tonight and over these past few months,” said Stone while holding her Oscar.


In regards to her win for Best Original Song, Billie Eilish said: “I think it made a lot of people feel very seen and I think that can be rare, especially as a woman.  And I think that was -- that really resonated and I think traveled the world of feeling seen and heard and understood.”


A big surprise was that Robert Downey Jr. didn’t come to the press room after his Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor. 


Images: A.M.P.A.S.

Here is a full list of who won an Oscar this year:


2024 Oscar Winners:


Actor in a Leading Role

Cillian Murphy


Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Downey Jr.


Actress in a Leading Role

Emma Stone


Actress in a Supporting Role

Da'Vine Joy Randolph


Animated Feature Film

The Boy and the Heron



Oppenheimer - Hoyte van Hoytema


Costume Design

Poor Things - Holly Waddington



Oppenheimer - Christopher Nolan


Documentary Feature Film

20 Days in Mariupol


Documentary Short Film

The Last Repair Shop


Film Editing

Oppenheimer - Jennifer Lame


International Feature Film

The Zone of Interest - United Kingdom


Makeup and Hairstyling

Poor Things - Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston


Music Original Score

Oppenheimer - Ludwig Göransson


Music Original Song

What Was I Made For? (Barbie) - Billie Eilish


Best Picture



Production Design

Poor Things

Production Design: James Price and Shona Heath; Set Decoration: Zsuzsa Mihalek


Animated Short Film

War is Over! Inspired by the music of JOHN & YOKO


Live Action Short Film

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar



The Zone of Interest - Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn


Visual Effects

Godzilla Minus One

Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima


Writing - Original Screenplay

Anatomy of a Fall Justine Triet and Arthur Harari


Writing - Adapted Screenplay

American Fiction - Written for the screen by Cord Jefferson

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