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'Oppenheimer' wins 7 categories at Academy Awards including best picture

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now the envelope, please.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO STATIC)

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

"Oppenheimer" blew up the Oscars. The three-hour movie about the man who created the atomic bomb picked up seven Academy Awards.

INSKEEP: NPR's Mandalit del Barco was in the audience last night. Hi there, Mandalit.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Hello. Good morning.

INSKEEP: So not a huge surprise that "Oppenheimer" would do so well.

DEL BARCO: No. No, actually, "Oppenheimer" was the favorite coming into the Oscars. Director Christopher Nolan got his first Oscar, and his movie won best picture. He's been an evangelist for IMAX and the big screen theatrical experience, and this is what he said during his speech.

(SOUNDBITE OF 96TH ACADEMY AWARDS)

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: Movies are just a little bit over a hundred years old. I mean, imagine being there a hundred years into painting or theater. We don't know where this incredible journey is going from here, but to know that you think that I'm a meaningful part of it means the world to me.

DEL BARCO: "Oppenheimer" also got awards for best cinematographer, best original score, best supporting actor, Robert Downey Jr, and best actor Cillian Murphy, who played the title role.

(SOUNDBITE OF 96TH ACADEMY AWARDS)

CILLIAN MURPHY: We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb. And for better or for worse, we're all living in Oppenheimer's world, so I would really like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.

INSKEEP: Mandalit, weren't there some other mentions of war and peace?

DEL BARCO: There were. You know, the documentary "20 Days In Mariupol" became the first film from Ukraine to win an Oscar. And as he held up his award, the film's director, journalist Mstyslav Chernov, said he wishes he never had to make the film.

(SOUNDBITE OF 96TH ACADEMY AWARDS)

MSTYSLAV CHERNOV: I wish to be able to exchange this to Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities.

(APPLAUSE)

DEL BARCO: Director Jonathan Glazer, whose movie about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, "Zone Of Interest," won best international feature, and he was on stage with his producer.

(SOUNDBITE OF 96TH ACADEMY AWARDS)

JONATHAN GLAZER: Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people.

DEL BARCO: You know, Steve, the Oscars ceremony actually started a few minutes late because there was a protest over Gaza in the street. The streets were blocked off, and I and all the rest of the audience had to walk down Sunset Boulevard in their gowns and tuxes - you know, glamorous Hollywood.

INSKEEP: Once you finally made it in there, did anything surprise you about the awards?

DEL BARCO: Well, you know, the movie "Poor Things" - it swept the technical categories last night, and its star Emma Stone beat out rival Lily Gladstone from "Killers Of The Flower Moon." And Martin Scorsese's movie didn't get a single award. There were no envelope mix-ups or nominees slapping hosts like in past ceremonies. But you know, in one bit, actor John Cena paid homage to a famous Oscars moment from 1974, when a streaker ran across the stage naked.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) Well, you know, you do what you can to salute the past.

DEL BARCO: (Laughter).

INSKEEP: But I want to ask about one more film. I've got two colleagues here. I don't want to name them, but one of them might be Michel Martin. So they're going by each other the other day, and they say, good morning, Barbie. Good morning, Barbie. So how did "Barbie" do?

DEL BARCO: Well, Barbie - or maybe you're Ken - director Greta Gerwig - she didn't get the award for her screenplay, and producer Margot Robbie, who played Barbie, didn't get to pick up the best picture Oscar. Ryan Gosling didn't win for best supporting actor. And his song "I'm Just Ken" lost out to Billie Eilish's "Barbie" song.

INSKEEP: Wow.

DEL BARCO: But he did give a showstopping performance.

(SOUNDBITE OF 96TH ACADEMY AWARDS)

RYAN GOSLING: (Singing) I'm just Ken.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) And I'm enough, and I'm great at doing stuff.

DEL BARCO: You know, everyone in the audience was singing and dancing along, and you could feel the onstage Kenergy (ph) all the way up to the rafters where I was sitting.

INSKEEP: Mandalit, thanks so much.

DEL BARCO: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Mandalit del Barco.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M JUST KEN")

GOSLING: (Singing) Can you feel the Kenergy? Feels so real... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.