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Hello! And welcome to the 96th edition of the Academy Awards—the Oscars! Ninety-six years of giving out awards and recognition to the best films across the globe, and ninety-six years of making the audience sit boringly for 3 and a half hours just to see a guy punch another guy for his wife.

2023 can easily be described as one of the Best Years for Cinema. While 2022 saw the resurgence of people’s interest in going to the local theatres, films of 2023 pushed that a little notch higher when people realized their girlfriend’s ex’s friend’s brother isn’t going to share Netflix password with them.

However, this year was also a great triumph for all the off-screen workers of Hollywood. The entire film and TV industry came to a halt due to the Writers and Actors Associations strikes seeking better compensation and working conditions for the workers. After a 148-day struggle, studio executives flew down to sign a historic deal, and now we are back and have never been better!

Apparently, David Zaslev started crying when he realized his own production house’s Barbie made more than the savings he could gather from the strike. With a $1.44 billion collection, Barbie stands as the highest-grossing film of the year, and Greta Gerwig helming the highest-grossing film directed by a woman.

Ah! What a remarkable year for women! Margot Robbie goes on a self-exploratory quest, Celine Song tells a story of forgotten love, Justine Triet shows a wife battling a courtroom case, and of course, Meghan Markle yaps about her sister-in-law. Women supporting women and women bashing women, all in good sense.

If there was one word that defined everything, that word would be "Barbenheimer." The word, which needs no explanation, brings back the famous same-day release clash of the year’s two biggest movies: Barbie and Oppenheimer, both competing in the Best Picture race.

Martin Scorsese got a record 10th nomination as a director for his film Killers of the Flower Moon, a moving depiction of white people’s exploitation of the Native American community. In the film, both Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro hatch a despicable inheritance plan to lure younger women for land, money, and yes, oil. According to sources, Leo and De Niro jumped onto their roles after hearing the words, ‘younger women.’

The Killers will also compete with Oppenheimer, not only in the Best Picture race but also in the ‘how long can you keep a guy seated without a pee break?’ category.

Along with the heavy dramas, charming and uplifting movies like Holdovers and The Color Purple find their place. The latter goes on to prove that any musical without James Corden will be a hit.

Amidst all the controversial discourse is the Barbie snub. Both Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie are not nominated tonight for their work in Barbie. People criticized all over the internet that the Academy members missed the same point that the film tries to tell. So, in true Barbie sense, America Ferrara and all the other Barbies are waiting backstage to hardwire the Academy members with their monologues. And if that doesn’t work, John Cena’s waiting in his mermaid skirt to either knock or seduce you off.

There was also much non-film-film intersection happening this year. Taylor Swift and Beyoncé’s Renaissance tours provided relief to those traumatized by Prince Harry’s frost-bitten genitals. The world got Golden Globes out of the Memorial Package but sadly lost a dear friend, Matthew Perry, who was IMDB 9 on a trauma scale. That was also the only time review bombing helped IMDB. (Looking at you, Amazon)

Remembering all these magnificent things that happened last year, let us now begin our show. I am your host Srikanth Pochiraju, and once again, welcome to the 96th edition of the Hunger Games. Hope you have a great night!


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