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5 best moments from the 2024 Oscars, ranked (plus one happy dog)

Ryan Gosling performs I'm Just a Ken in Barbie.
Warner Bros. Pictures

The 2024 Oscars have come and gone, and no one can say that the 96th Academy Awards show wasn’t entertaining! Returning host Jimmy Kimmel kept things moving all night long, and there were some very funny moments, as well as poignant speeches, and one of the most dazzling musical performances that the Oscars has ever seen.

To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a brief list of the five most memorable moments from the 2024 Oscars. And you may have already guessed which one landed at no. 1.

Honorable Mention: A meme is born

If you blinked, you might have missed the cameo by Messi, the very good dog from Anatomy of a Fall, with clapping paws added. It’s destined to be a meme for the rest of eternity.

here’s how messi can still win an oscar

— Letterboxd (@letterboxd) March 11, 2024

5. Cord Jefferson’s plea for studios to make more movies

AMERICAN FICTION Accepts the Oscar for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Typically, Oscar winners use their allotted speech time to thank friends, family members, agents, and more. But when Cord Jefferson won Best Adapted Screenplay for American Fiction, he went in a different direction. Jefferson acknowledged that he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make his movie, but many other deserving filmmakers remain undiscovered.

Toward that end, Jefferson spent most of his speech making an impassioned plea for the movie studios to embrace making 20 $10 million dollar films instead of one $200 million dollar film.

4. A Twins reunion goes Batty

Oscars 2024: How Batman defeated both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were ostensibly co-presenters because they starred in Twins together. But rather than talk about that movie, they shared notes as former Batman movie villains before calling out former Batman actor Michael Keaton, who was sitting in the audience.

Keaton was stone-faced initially, but he eventually played into the bit by inviting them to attack him, just like his Dark Knight alter ego. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Schwarzenegger didn’t recognize Keaton as his Batman, and pointed to George Clooney instead.

3. Anti-war speeches

THE ZONE OF INTEREST Accepts the Oscar for International Feature Film

The Oscars ceremony does have its more serious and somber moments as well. The first came after director Jonathan Glazer and James Wilson Best International Feature for The Zone of Interest and spent their time decrying the dehumanizing of victims in war, from the lives lost in the October 7th attacks on Israel to the massive civilian causalities in the war on Gaza.

20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL Accepts the Oscar for Documentary Feature Film

Similarly, director Mstyslav Chernov, who won Best Documentary Feature for 20 Days in Mariupol, noted that this was the first Ukrainian film to ever win an Oscar. But he expressed a desire to trade it all away if it meant that Russia never invaded Ukraine and occupied their country.

2. John Cena refuses to streak

John Cena (Sort Of) Streaks at the Oscars

As noted by host Jimmy Kimmel, the 1974 Oscars famously had a streaker run on stage. Supposedly, former full-time wrestler-turned-actor John Cena was supposed to recreate the moment … but chickened out.

Instead, Cena appeared to come on stage fully naked, save for the Oscar-winning envelope he used to cover himself. It was one of the funnier skits of the night and could have taken the top prize on our list had it not been for the following performance.

1. Ryan Gosling brings the house down with I’m Just Ken

Ryan Gosling and Mark Ronson Perform 'I'm Just Ken' at Oscars 2024

This wasn’t just the moment of the night, it might be one the greatest Oscar performances of all-time. We’ve known for weeks that Ryan Gosling would perform I’m Just Ken from Barbie, but no one expected this show-stopping production. Gosling was decked out in pink and sitting in his own seat behind Margot Robbie when he started his performance, which was a clever way to get her into the shot. Behind them, the eventual Oscar-winner for Best Original Song, Billie Eilish, covered her mouth to suppress a laugh, while Robbie didn’t bother to hide her amusement.

Gosling and Mark Ronson pulled out all of the stops for this song, including bringing in the other movie Kens: Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Scott Evans, and Ncuti Gatwa. Slash made a surprise appearance late in the song before Gosling coaxed Robbie, America Ferrera, Greta Gerwig, and even Emma Stone to sing along with the song. This is going to go down as a legendary moment in Oscar history.

Need more Oscar recommendations? Check out  10 biggest Oscar snubs ever, 10 best Oscar-winning movies ever, 10 most Oscar-nominated movies ever, and 5 great Oscar-winning movies on Amazon Prime Video.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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