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Watch: Ryan Gosling sings live at the Oscars

By Emma Saunders & Holly Honderich
at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles & in Washington

This year’s Oscars brought more than three hours of glamour, tears, and full-frontal nudity. Here are some of the best moments from the biggest night in Hollywood.

It was Kenough

Diamonds are a Ken’s best friend?

We all knew it was coming but Ryan Gosling’s full-throated rendition of the Barbie movie’s hit I’m Just Ken was even better than we could have hoped for.

He started out the Oscar-nominated original song sitting just behind Barbie co-star Margot Robbie, who could not seem to control her laughter as Gosling crooned into her ear.

Carrying on in his all-pink tuxedo, Gosling made his way to the stage where he danced a choreographed routine with a dozen accompanying cowboy-hat-wearing Kens transforming the sometimes stuffy evening into a rousing concert. And, if that wasn’t enough, Slash appeared to lend his talents for a guitar solo.

There were even suggestions the choreography was a homage to Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.

The Kenergy was infectious – Gosling solicited energetic singalongs from the star-studded front row, including best actress winner Emma Stone and Barbie’s director, Greta Gerwig.

Stone even had a wardrobe malfunction due to all the excitement – as she walked up to the stage to collect her best actress nomination, she was struggling with the back of her dress.

Appearing backstage, she said: “They sewed me back in! I genuinely think I busted it during I’m Just Ken. I was so amazed by Ryan and that number just blew my mind. I was just going for it and things just happen!”

Kimmel – tried and tested

Kimmel had presented the Oscars on three previous occasions

Jimmy Kimmel returned to the Dolby Theatre for his fourth turn as Oscars’ host.

He’s had some practice and it showed. Kimmel nodded to the months-long strikes that brought Hollywood (nearly) to a halt in his tone-setting monologue, celebrating the actors and writers who had pushed for a deal.

“As a result, actors no longer have to worry about getting replaced by AI,” he said. “Thanks to this historic agreement, actors are now able to go back to worrying about being replaced by younger, more attractive people.”

Kimmel also got into a spat with Donald Trump that went viral. In response to the former US President posting on Truth Social: “Has there EVER been a WORSE HOST than Jimmy Kimmel?”, the comic quipped back on stage: “Isn’t it past your jail time?”

But not all his jokes landed. A jab at Robert Downey Jr and his history of substance abuse drew some blank stares from the crowd, and a “wrap it up” from Downey Jr himself.

Downey Jr was the only winner who didn’t come to the winners’ room to speak to the press later. Although he skipped it at the Baftas too. Maybe he’s just too cool for skool.

Israel-Gaza war remains ever-present

The streets of Hollywood were flooded with demonstrators protesting Israel’s war in Gaza, snarling traffic and slowing the arrival of several stars.

Protesters chanting “ceasefire now” walked down Sunset Boulevard to the sound of honking horns, while Los Angeles police stood by in riot gear.

Siblings and Oscar winners Finneas O’Connell and Billie Eilish wore red pins in support of a ceasefire in Gaza

There were reminders of the conflict inside the ceremony too, with several big-name stars including Billie Eilish, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef sporting red pins in support of a ceasefire (Artists4Ceasefire) between Israel and Hamas.

The pins were from Artists4Ceasefire, a group of stars and others who work in the entertainment industry who signed an open letter urging President Biden to call for a ceasefire.

Israeli-American founder of Marvel Entertainment, Avi Arad, wore a yellow ribbon, to raise awareness of the hostages who are still being held by Hamas since the 7 October attack on Israel.

And the war was noted from the Oscars stage itself, as the British director Jonathan Glazer accepted the best international film statue for his film The Zone of Interest, which follows the domestic life of a Nazi officer and his family.

Glazer, who is Jewish, said he rejected his “Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people”.

“Whether the victims of October 7th in Israel, or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanisation, how do we resist?”

Da’Vine Joy Randolph moves us to tears

The first winner of the night, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, told the audience: “Thank you for seeing me”

The Oscars made lots of super-fans happy this year by returning to an old presenting format, with past winners announcing the nominees for the four acting categories. The personal tributes gave us some nice moments of real emotion from the stars.

This was especially true for Da’Vine Joy Randolph who was moved to tears by a heart-felt introduction from Lupita Nyong’o.

Randolph had us crying ourselves moments later when she accepted the trophy for best supporting actress – her first win after her first nomination.

“I didn’t think I was supposed to do this as a career,” she said in her speech. “For so long, I’ve always wanted to be different, and now I realise I just need to be myself. And I thank you. I thank you for seeing me.”

Backstage, she spoke about encouraging creatives from under-represented backgrounds to keep going: “The beautiful thing that erupts is your imagination and creativity because you don’t have much…. Something I think as black people, we are very good at, is making a lot out of very little. It’s our superpower.”

John Cena: A Hollywood streaker?

John Cena (nearly) bared it all this year

The award for costume design won’t be easily forgotten this year, thanks to the presentation by John Cena.

Prompted by Kimmel, Cena – a wrestler and actor – appeared on stage entirely naked, save for a pair of Birkenstocks and a strategically placed envelope carrying the name of the winner.

Cena shuffled on stage to the sound of roaring laughter, before a quick exchange with Kimmel – one of the better sketches of the evening.

“The male body is not supposed to be funny,” Cena said.

“Mine is,” Kimmel replied.

Al Pacino and an awkward announcement

Al Pacino didn’t even bother to read out all the best picture nominees

It wasn’t the only moment of the night that had people sitting up in their chairs. Al Pacino nearly gave us a panic attack right at the end of the ceremony.

We still haven’t recovered from the Moonlight/La La Land mix-up back in 2017. So when Pacino hesitated before announcing Oppenheimer as the best picture winner – and then uttered his announcement so casually – there was a sharp intake of breath in the auditorium. Thankfully, no-one rushed on to the stage to correct him. Phew.

Best supporting dog

Messi the dog put his paws together

The best picture-nominated Anatomy of a Fall boasted a four-legged break-out star: Messi, the black-and-white border collie who plays Snoop the dog in the French courtroom drama.

Following days of speculation over whether he would show, Messi appeared at the ceremony, sitting in a plush red seat with a black bow-tie around his neck.

Messi even got some screen time later in the evening. The camera panned to him to show his paws up in applause for Robert Downey Jr’s best supporting actor win.

Gosling also looked delighted to see Messi again, having previously made his acquaintance at the Oscars Luncheon last month.

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