No luck for Aussies at Academy Awards as ‘Oppenheimer’ wins seven gongs

'Oppenheimer'. (Photo courtesy Universal Pictures)

Oppenheimer may have battled it out with Barbie at the box office, but Poor Things proved its nearest rival at Sunday’s (US time) Oscars.

Christopher Nolan’s portrait of the man behind the atomic bomb took home seven prizes and was named Best Motion Picture. The film’s haul also included Achievement in Directing for Nolan, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Cillian Murphy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Robert Downey Jr, as well as prizes for cinematography, editing, and original score.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s Victorian-set satire converted four of its 11 nominations, winning awards for make-up and hairstyling, production design, costume design, and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Emma Stone.

Margot Robbie at The 96th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre. (Photo: Nick Agro)

Unfortunately for Australian hopes, the film’s haul did not include Best Adapted Screenplay, with the country’s lone individual nominee Tony McNamara losing out to American Fiction writer/director Cord Jefferson.

There was also no joy for Australian producers Sara McFarlane and Nicky Bentham, who were both up in the Live Action Short category for their work on Red, White and Blue and The After, respectively, with the award going to Wes Anderson and Steven Rales for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which Margot Robbie produced, could only manage one win in the Best Original Song category, which went to What Was I Made For? .

It didn’t stop the film from providing one of the ceremony’s most memorable moments, as both Gerwig and Robbie contributed to Ryan Gosling’s much anticipated live rendition of I’m Just Ken.

Tony McNamara and Belinda Bromilow arrive on the red carpet of the 96th Oscars. (Photo: Nick Agro)

Robbie also featured in an opening skit that recreated the film’s bus stop scene, with host Jimmy Kimmel sitting in place of the older woman Barbie speaks with.

In his fourth time hosting the awards, the late-night presenter spent much of his opening monologue talking about the SAG-AFTRA and Writers’ Guild of America strikes, noting “the long and difficult work stoppage” had shown that Hollywood “as pretentious and superficial as it could be, is at its heart is a union town”. He then paid tribute to the “people who worked behind the scenes” and brought out a selection of the ceremony’s backstage crew to raucous applause.

The In Memoriam segment of this year’s awards included a tribute to Australian visual effects producer Diana Giorgiutti, who died in October last year. Giorgiutti’s career in the industry spanned four decades and included credits such as The Matrix and Babe.

Find the full list of winners from the 96th Academy Awards here.