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The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

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The Forest Scout


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An Excellent Year of Cinema Recognized at the Oscars

Image created by Grace Donovan

“And the Oscar goes too… ____” is one of the most exhilarating phrases for a filmmaker’s career as an Oscar is the most famous and prestigious award one can receive. 

Movie fanatics (like myself) gear up for this day the whole year by watching the various nominees as they come out into theaters the year prior to the award show. It all comes down to this… The biggest award ceremony for recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements: The Academy Award of Merit (also known as the Oscars). 

This past Sunday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held the 96th year of The Oscars. 

The Oscars first began in 1929 and have annually continued since then. The awards are broken down into 23 different categories of film production with five nominees in each. 

You probably have heard of the “Big Five”awards which include: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. While of course, any Oscar award is big- these are the biggest. 

Believe it or not, it is a long road leading up to the Oscars. Voting for the Oscars begins much before the nominees are announced. In December, members of the Academy do the honors of voting for their favorite of each category. Come late January, the nominations are announced to the public. And finally in early March, the event takes place. 

Just this Sunday, a total of 53 films were recognized at the ceremony with an estimated 19.5 million people watching. This is the highest viewer count of the Academy Awards in four years. 

You may be wondering why the 19.5 million flipped their TV channels to ABC to watch. It’s because 2023 was an exceptional year for cinema.  

For those who didn’t watch, let me catch you up!

Overall Best Picture nominees:

  • “Oppenheimer” (winner)
  • “American Fiction”
  • “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • “Barbie”
  • “The Holdovers”
  • “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • “Maestro”
  • “Past Lives”
  • “Poor Things”
  • “The Zone of Interest”

Oppenheimer walked away with the “most prestigious” honor of the ceremony. Making the Best Picture award their 7th award of the night after coming in with 13 nominations. In fact, Oppenheimer won the most awards of all films in each category of this year’s Academy Awards. Maybe you have seen all of these films listed or maybe you’ve seen none of them. Wherever you stand in viewing count, watch Oppenheimer. And if you have some time after – pick another to watch (all are unique and extremely well done).

Christopher Nolan with his awards (@theacademy on Instagram).

Best Director:

  • Christopher Nolan – “Oppenheimer” (winner)
  • Justine Triet – “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Martin Scorsese – “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – “Poor Things”
  • Jonathan Glazer – “The Zone of Interest”

This was the first time Christopher Nolan has won this award. Nolan has previously been nominated for directing “Dunkirk” in 2017 and also nominated for original screenplay in 2010 for “Inception” and in 2001 for “Memento.” Nolan has demonstrated greatness in the film world and certainly is not done yet. 

“Movies are just a little bit over 100 years old… We don’t know where this incredible journey is going from here. But to know that you think I’m a meaningful part of it means the world to me” said Nolan during his first acceptance speech of the night. 

Best Actor:

  • Cillian Murphy – “Oppenheimer” (winner)
  • Paul Giamatti – “The Holdovers”
  • Bradley Cooper – “Maestro”
  • Colman Domingo – “Rustin”
  • Jeffrey Wright – “American Fiction”

This was Cillian Murphy’s first time being nominated. He played J. Robert Oppneheimer in the film. Murphy has been in six Christopher Nolan films but usually as a small role, however, this was his first time portraying a lead role. You might recognize Murphy from “A Quiet Place Part II,” “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” “Inception,” and more. 

Courtesy of DevianArt

Best Actress:

  • Emma Stone – “Poor Things” (winner)
  • Annette Bening – “Nyad”
  • Carey Mulligan – “Maestro”
  • Lily Gladstone – “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Sandra Hüller – “Anatomy of a Fall”

Actress Emma Stone plays the lead of Bella Baxter in “Poor Things.” This is Stone’s second Oscar. She secured her first Oscar for best actress playing the lead of Mia in the 2016 musical, “La La Land”. You probably recognize Stone from “Superbad”, “Easy A”, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and more. 

Best Screenplay:

  • “Anatomy of a Fall” – Justine Triet and Arthur Harari (winner)
  • “The Holdovers” – David Hemingson
  • “May December” – Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik
  • “Past Lives” – Celine Song

“Anatomy of a Fall” is a fictional drama that is set in real-life crises containing a variety of emotions and obstacles. Triet and Harari are two French filmmakers both receiving their first Oscar together. 

“This is a crazy year… It is very glamorous tonight, it contrasts slightly with how it all started. We were stuck in our house with two kids, it was the lockdown, and we hooked them up with cartoons to have peace, and there was no line between work and diapers,” Triet said in her acceptance speech. It appears that Triet and Arthur should have a very successful road of filmmaking ahead of them. 

Ultimately, an Oscar is more more than just the 13 inch tall gold trophy. The stellar outfits, the red carpet, the quick teaser of every film when announcing the nominees, the acceptance speeches, all are what make winning an Oscar one of the most prestigious awards someone in the film industry can receive. 

Jimmy Kimmel said it best, “it’s golden time everybody, should we give out some Oscars!?” 

Go watch one of these films… It’s the “golden time” to.

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About the Contributor
Grace Donovan
Grace Donovan, Staff Writer
Junior Grace Donovan is thrilled to be writing for The Forest Scout for the first time this year! Grace enjoys playing on the fall JV tennis team and the spring badminton team! She’s is a very dedicated member of the Junior Class Student Council and various other clubs. Outside of school Grace loves to be outside, attend church youth group, hangout with friends, make movies, meet new people and laugh! 
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