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Oscars recognize movies of 2023

Marta King

The most prestigious award show of the year is coming up on March 10, 2024 – ABC will air the 96th Academy Awards with host Jimmy Kimmel. This will be Kimmel’s fourth time hosting the event. Nominations were announced on Jan. 23, 2024, with relatively few surprises.

Oppenheimer garnered 13 nominations in total, including best director, best picture and acting nominations for Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt.  Oppenheimer – a three hour ensemble movie was made without computer generated imagery and tells the story of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the process of creating an atomic bomb.

“It kept me interested and engaged, even though I had no interest in Oppenheimer’s work and I knew nothing [about] the reaction of the atomic bomb,” said Daniela Seterah ’26

In addition to Oppenheimer, Greta Gerwig’s movie Barbie released the exact same day. As opposed to Oppenheimer’s dark, historical background, Barbie was more colorful and upbeat. Thus, the concept of Barbenheimer, comparing the two seemingly opposite movies, emerged.

“I didn’t see any similarities, but I think they had such a big showdown because they’re so different and people thought it would be interesting to watch them back to back,” said Seterah.

  The summer hit of 2023, Barbie, takes the idea of the original Barbie dolls and incorporates thoughtful meaning behind gender roles and societal standards. It shocked almost everyone that both Barbie’s director, Greta Gerwig, and star, Margot Robbie, were not nominated.  However, Ryan Gosling was nominated for his role of Ken and the movie received two song nominations for “What Was I Made For” and “I’m Just Ken.”

“I didn’t realize how relatable “What Was I Made For?” would turn out to be,” said Billie Eilish in a Vanity Fair article. “People started to point out the lyrics and say, ‘oh, my God, Billie wrote this for me, because this is how I feel.’”

Gerwig’s movie brings to light the trouble with Barbie’s pure perfection, perfection that women of all ages view as a societal standard in their own lives. Actress America Ferrera, whose character in Barbie delivered a heartfelt speech about what it means to be a woman in today’s society, received a best supporting actress nomination.

“[The speech] just shows that everyone has their own story that can determine the way they act, but by trying to understand someone, you end up becoming closer and learn that everyone feels something different and most of the time you don’t see behind the scenes,” said Talya  Di Carlo ‘27.

Moreover, Lily Gladstone became the first Native American woman to be nominated for best actress for her role in Killers of the Flower Moon, a movie based on a reallife plot to kill Native Americans in order to gain oil rights in Oklahoma.  

In movies that feature characters of Indigenous descent, Indigenous people have been portrayed by white people. One of the reasons Killers of the Flower Moon has received many accolades is because the members of an Indigenous community, such as Gladstone, had integral roles in its production.

“On a grand historical scale, [Killers of the Flower Moon] brings to light a horrific and shameful episode far too long hidden from view in mainstream, white centric American culture,” said Richard Brody of The New Yorker.

The movie also received nine other nominations, including best picture.  However, many were surprised that Leonardo DiCaprio did not get a nomination for his role as Ernest Burkhart. The remaining movies that received best picture nominations include Poor Things, The Holdovers, Maestro, American Fiction, Past Lives, Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest.

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About the Contributor
Marta King
Marta King, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Marta King and I am a staff writer for The Arrow! I originally joined journalism to express my creativity and I enjoy every minute of it! I love journalism because every single person adds something new to the paper, and it is such a great feeling when, after weeks of hard work, all the elements of a page come together to create The Arrow. Outside of school, I enjoy playing soccer, listening to music, playing with my cat, or snuggling with my dogs!
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