Oscars 2024: Al Pacino explains a strange announcement for Best Picture

  • Written by Noor Nanji
  • Culture correspondent

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Al Pacino didn't even bother reading the best picture nominees

Al Pacino explained why he didn't read the names of all 10 Oscar-nominated films, saying the show's producers made the decision.

The veteran actor handed out the final trophy of the night, at a star-studded event on Sunday in Los Angeles.

But there was confusion when Oppenheimer was suddenly declared the winner without listing the nominees first, as was usual.

“It was not my intention to delete it,” Pacino said in a statement.

Instead, the 83-year-old said not doing so was a “choice by the producers”. [the nominees] Again because they were individually highlighted throughout the ceremony,” he said.

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In his statement released Monday afternoon, the Oscar-winning actor added that he “chose to follow” the way the producers wanted to present the award.

“I realize that a nomination represents a huge milestone in one’s life, and to not be fully recognized is humiliating and painful,” Pacino said.

“I say this as someone who has deep relationships with filmmakers, actors and producers, so I have deep sympathy for those who have been slighted by these oversights, which is why I felt it was necessary to make this statement.”

Pacino's announcement meant the night ended on an awkward note, with none of the usual buzz around the night's big prize.

Opening the envelope, he muttered “My eyes see Oppenheimer,” leaving the audience momentarily confused as to whether the film had actually won.

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Oppenheimer swept the awards with Cillian Murphy winning Best Actor

BBC culture correspondent Emma Saunders, who was present in Los Angeles, said his announcement “sent people to their seats” as they tried to parse the information.

Although it wasn't quite as chaotic as the end of the 2017 awards ceremony, when Moonlight and La La Land were mixed up for best picture, she said it left reporters backstage with a “panic attack at the end of the ceremony.” to celebrate”.

McInerney, who is married to Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel, added: “By the time you get to the end of the show, you've seen the top 10 photo sets.

“People just want to hear who's going to win, and they're so ready for the show to be over. At least that's what we expected. So, we didn't give him a clip package. We didn't give him nominations to read.”

She apologized to Pacino if the decision “put him in a difficult position.”

“That made it a little confusing. But listen, that's the excitement of live TV. You never know exactly what you're going to get!”

The 10 films nominated for Best Picture were American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and The Zone of Interest.

Oppenheimer swept the ceremony, winning Best Picture, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Best Director for Christopher Nolan, and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr.

An estimated 19.5 million people tuned in to the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday night, according to ABC.

This is the highest number in four years, and almost double the pandemic-era low. However, ratings remain disappointing for a concert that regularly attracted more than 40 million viewers a decade ago.

This year's Oscar nominations included hit films like Barbie and Oppenheimer, which audiences have already seen, compared to the more intimate and artistic films that have dominated the nominations at recent ceremonies. The Academy also moved the show an hour earlier this year, which may have helped boost ratings.

Pacino, an acting legend, won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993 for “Smell of a Woman.”

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