‘Holdovers’ star Randolph wins supporting actress as Oscars kick off

March 11, 2024 - 8:08 AM
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Da'Vine Joy Randolph wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "The Holdovers" during the Oscars show at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2024. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

 “The Holdovers” star Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the best supporting actress trophy as Hollywood began handing out the top film honors at the annual Academy Awards.

READ: Full list of Oscar winners at the 96th Academy Awards

Randolph portrayed a grieving mother and cafeteria worker in the comedy set in a New England boarding school. She shed tears as she accepted her first Oscar.

“For so long, I always wanted to be different, and now I realize I just need to be myself,” she said. “I thank you for seeing me.”

“Anatomy of a Fall” won best original screenplay.

“The Boy and the Heron,” Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s semi-autobiographical film about grief, was named best animated feature.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, hosting the show for the fourth time, opened the ceremony by complimenting, and taking jabs at, many of the nominees and their films.

The comedian praised “Barbie,” the pink-drenched doll adventure, for making a “plastic doll nobody even liked anymore” into a feminist icon.

Before the film, there was “a better chance of getting my wife to buy our daughter a pack of Marlboro Reds” than a Barbie, Kimmel said on the broadcast, which was broadcast live on the U.S. ABC network.

Kimmel said many of this year’s movies were too long, particularly Martin Scorsese’s 3-1/2-hour “Killer of the Flower Moon” about the murders of members of the Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma.

“In the time it takes you to watch it, you could drive to Oklahoma and solve the murders,” Kimmel joked.

READ: Oscar takeaways: panned by Trump, host Kimmel quips, ‘Isn’t it past your jail time?’

As the stars celebrated, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters angered by the Israel-Gaza conflict shouted and slowed traffic in the streets surrounding the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “While you’re watching, bombs are dropping,” one sign read.

“The Oscars are happening down the road while people are being murdered, killed, bombed,” said 38-year-old business owner Zinab Nassrou.

At the awards venue, a handful of celebrities, including singer Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, wore red pins calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Actor Mark Ruffalo praised the protesters as he entered the theater and raised a clenched fist. “We need peace,” he said.

“Oppenheimer,” the three-hour atomic bomb drama directed by Christopher Nolan, led the field with 13 nominations. The movie was the frontrunner to win the prestigious best picture prize, capping its sweep of other major awards this year.

READ: Christopher Nolan wins best director Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’ | Cillian Murphy wins best actor Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’

“If the best picture isn’t ‘Oppenheimer,’ it will be one of the biggest upsets, if not the biggest upset, in the history of the Oscars,” said Scott Feinberg, executive editor for awards at The Hollywood Reporter.

READ: Universal Pictures dominates the Academy Awards with “Oppenheimer’ | ‘Oppenheimer’ crowned best picture at the Oscars

After 2023 was marred by actors and writers strikes, the Oscars gave Hollywood a chance to celebrate two global hits. “Oppenheimer” and feminist doll adventure “Barbie,” another best picture nominee, brought in a combined $2.4 billion in a summer box office battle dubbed “Barbenheimer.”

Supporting actor nominee Ryan Gosling was set to sing the ’80s-style rock anthem “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie.” Members of the Osage Nation were scheduled to perform the nominated “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Cillian Murphy, the Irish actor who played physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer as he led the race to build the first atomic bomb, is considered the favorite for best actor. Murphy’s main competition, according to awards pundits, is “The Holdovers” star Paul Giamatti.

Best actress may go to Lily Gladstone of “Killers of the Flower Moon.” If she prevails, Gladstone would be the first Native American actress to win an acting Oscar.

Gladstone’s rivals include previous Oscar winner Emma Stone, nominated this year for playing a woman revived from the dead in the dark and wacky comedy “Poor Things.”

The supporting actor race features “Oppenheimer” star Robert Downey Jr., who played the scientist’s professional nemesis, and Sterling K. Brown from “American Fiction.”

READ: Robert Downey Jr. wins best supporting Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’

For Nolan, the night could bring his first directing Oscar, as well as the award for adapted screenplay. The director of “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception” and other acclaimed films has never had a movie win best picture.

— Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Mary Milliken, Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller