Ryan Gosling Rocks Oscars 2024 with ‘I’m Just Ken’ Performance!

ByQuyen Anne

Mar 11, 2024

The laughter, the tears, the speeches and Ryan Gosling giving us the showstopping “I’m Just Ken” we all deserve. Now that’s how you do the Oscars

Ryan Gosling Performs 'I'm Just Ken' at Oscars 2024

Now that’s how you do an Oscar Night right.

The 96th Academy Awards show felt like a real celebration, in a great year for movies — nearly all 10 of the Best Picture nominees were keepers. This was an Oscars bash full of classic moments: Da’Vine Joy Randolph bringing everyone to tears. Ryan Gosling rocking “I’m Just Ken” with Slash on guitar. Rita Moreno singing “America” to America Ferrera. The orchestra trying to play off Sean Ono Lennon as he had the crowd say, “Happy Mother’s Day, Yoko!” Exactly one joke about researching spiders in the Amazon. A very naked John Cena. This show had it all.

Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the fourth time (and the second year in a row). The Oscars began an hour earlier than its usual time, but six minutes past schedule, due to protests against the war in Gaza. Kimmel brought his A-game, saluting Greta Gerwig for Barbie while roasting the crowd for not nominating her. But he had nothing but love for Ken. “Ryan, you are so hot,” he told Mr. Gosling. “Let’s go camping together and not tell our wives.” He quipped that Emma Stone in Poor Things “played an adult woman with the brain of a child, like the lady who gave the rebuttal to the State of the Union on Thursday.” His only truly nasty bit? Kimmel announced, “This is the highest point of Robert Downey Jr.’s long and illustrious career. Well, one of the highest points.” (Downey Jr. was a damn good sport about it.)


Kimmel saluted the union after this year’s long strike. “At heart it’s a union town,” he said of Hollywood. “It’s not just a bunch of heavily botoxed, Hailey Bieber smoothie-drinking, diabetes-prescription abusing, gluten-sensitive nepo-babies with perpetually shivery chihuahuas.” But the host had one of his funniest bits near the end of the show, when former President Trump posted online about how this guy was the worst host ever. Kimmell asked, “Isn’t it past your jail time?”

One of this year’s Oscar innovations: in the big four big acting awards, the nominees were introduced by previous winners, instead of the usual movie clips. In theory, this should have been a terrible idea—adding five extra speches to each award? But it worked smashingly, just adding to the overall star power. Who’s not in the mood to see Rita Moreno or Jessica Lange or Forest Whitaker or Brendan Fraser? Legends praising legends — what a concept.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the night’s first big award for Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers, and gave an emotional knockout of a speech. “I didn’t think I was supposed to be doing this as a career,” said a tearful Randolph. “For so long, I’ve always wanted to be different. Now I realize I just need to be myself, and I thank you for seeing me.” When you can reduce an audience to tears thanking your publicist? That’s a movie star. (Her co-star from The Holdovers, Paul Giamatti, graciously escorted her up the stairs, then went back to his seat to cry like everyone else.)

Cillian Murphy won Best Actor for the title role in Oppenheimer, to nobody’s surprise. He’s now the only Oscar winner who’s ever made a movie where he gets to blow Bryan Ferry in a car. Murphy made one of the night’s most effective speeches, calling himself a proud Irishman. “We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb,” he said. “For better or for worse, we’re all living in Oppenheimer’s world. I would really like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.”

Robert Downey Jr took Best Supporting Actor for Oppenheimer, with a great speech of his own. He began, ”I’d like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy, in that order.” He also thanked his lawyer for “trying to get me insured and bailing me out of the hoosegow.” Downey became the first Saturday Night Live cast member ever to win an Oscar, despite nominations for Billy Murray and Eddie Murphy. (An especially cool feat given his run on the show’s most cursed season, where his stint peaked in a fart debate with Anthony Michael Hall.) Downey arguably should have won this award for Weird Science, but it was a memorable moment nonetheless.

The night’s biggest upset: Emma Stone won Best Actress for Poor Things, an undeniably brilliant performance, though there was a sense of shock that Lily Gladstone didn’t win. It was a major surprise that Killers of the Flower Moon got shot out. Martin Scorsese, sitting in the audience, didn’t take long to get that “I flew in for this? I could be home getting tricked into making TikToks with my grandaughter” glaze in his eyes.

John Mulaney came in to present for Best Sound, and absolutely killed in a 100-second monologue that was basically an audition for hosting next year’s show. “Some people say that the silent era was the Golden Era of film,” Mulaney declared. “These people are difficult and insane. Without sound, we wouldn’t have been able to hear such classic lines as ‘You’re going to need a bigger boat,’ ‘I’ll have what she’s having,’ and ‘He was in the Amazon with my mother when she was researching spiders just before she died.’”

Wes Anderson won his first Oscar ever, taking Best Live Action Short for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Kimmel quipped that Anderson couldn’t be here because “he’s busy building a diorama made of corduroy.” Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling did a great bit about the Barbenheimer rivalry. Blunt told him, “Thanks for Kensplaining that to me, Mr. ‘I need to paint my abs on to get nominated.’ You don’t see Robert Downey Jr. doing that.”


Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell did a stunning version of their Barbie theme “What Was I Made For?” which won for Best Song. It’s their second win, after composing the James Bond theme song No Time to Die. The award was presented by Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo. Ariana was already having a big weekend, considering she just dropped her blockbuster Eternal Sunshine. You had to love the joy on Ariana’s face when she opened the envelope and saw Billie’s name, leading to a long session of pop-queen cuddling.

The night was full of memorable music moments: The Osage Singers did the tribal song “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon. Jon Batiste sang “It Never Went Away” from American Symphony, while Becky G rocked “The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot. But the night’s biggest and best music moment had to be Ryan Gosling doing “I’m Just Ken,” with a songwriter Mark Ronson on bass and a surprise cameo from Slash. Gosling had a stage full of dancing Kens along with co-stars Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben–Adir. Seeing Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie sing along was one of the night’s emotional peaks.

When The Zone of Interest won Best International Feature, writer/director Jonathan Glazer made the most controversial speech of the night, on Gaza. He denounced “an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people — whether the victims of Oct. 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all are victims of this dehumanization.” Director Mstyslav Chernov won for his documentary about the war in the Ukraine, 20 Days in Mariupol,  the first Ukrainian film to win an Oscar. As he said, “Probably I will be the first director on this stage who says I wish I never made this film.”

Best Animated Short went to War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko. Sean Ono Lennon, an executive producer, joined the directors onstage, and gave a shout out to his mom, who just turned 91.

The night’s best needle drop: When Anatomy of a Fall won Best Original Screenplay, director Justine Triet walked to the podium to the sound of Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band’s playing their cover of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” Cord Jefferson won Best Adapted Screenplay for American Fiction, based on Percival Everett’s novel Erasure. He gave a passionate (and extremely well-recieved) speech in favor of risky movies like this. Jefferson inspired a loud ovation when he said, “Instead of making one $200 million dollar movie, try making 20 $10 million dollar movies.”


It was cool when the former winners of the Best Actor Award came out to present: they included both Forest Whitaker and Nicolas Cage. It’s always a joy to see two alumni of Fast Times at Ridgemont High together — too bad they didn’t also have Spicoli. Randolph happened to mention the great Colleen Camp in her speech, the night’s only representation for either Clue or Wayne’s World.

The ads kept saying, “The Oscars on ABC are brought to you by Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version).” You want to know why? It’s absolutely her revenge for not even getting nominated for Best Song last year, when she wrote “Carolina” for Where The Crawdads. There is nothing she does better than revenge, and she evidently wants to show she can lighten up an awards show without even attending, much less getting up to dance.

The In Memoriam montage had a long roll call of the legends we’ve lost over the past year, from Harry Belafonte to Alan Arkin to Andre Braugher to Carl Weathers, right up to the just-recently-passed Richard Lewis There were plenty of music legends in the mix — Ryuchi Sakamoto, Robbie Robertson, Jane Birkin — along with Tina Turner, with a clip from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. But the most poignant moment: Paul Reubens, in a clip from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, riding his bike. His In Memoriam clip was Pee Wee Herman saying, “I don’t have to see it, Dottie. I lived it.” Ride on forever, Pee Wee.

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