After 20 years of trying to find the Oscars on satellite TV, we were finally treated to the ITV experience with Jonathan Ross and his array of studio guests.

The 96th Academy Awards show started an hour earlier than normal, making it more accessible to UK viewers, though it was slightly delayed due to some protestors.

Unfortunately, the build-up in the ITV studio was rather lame and I can’t imagine I was the only one reaching for the mute button. Thankfully, the ceremony, hosted for the fourth time by Jimmy Kimmel, was a much more watchable event. No slaps were thrown this year, just congratulatory ones on the back.

The figures show that viewing of the ITV show peaked at 10:30 pm with an audience of 1.9m, which was a 21% share of UK viewers.

2023 was a good year for cinema, with 174 blockbuster releases. The UK and Ireland box office revenue rose 8.7% to £1.06 billion, with admissions up to 123.6m — an increase of 5.4%.

Top 10 Films

RankTitleDistributorRevenue (£m)
1BarbieWarner Bros95.5
2OppenheimerUniversal58.7
3The Super Mario Bros. MovieUniversal54.8
4WonkaWarner Bros49.2
5Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3Walt Disney36.7
6Spider-Man: Across The Spider-VerseSony30.7
7The Little MermaidWalt Disney27.4
8Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part OneParamount26.6
9Puss In Boots: The Last WishUniversal26.0
10Avatar: The Way Of WaterDisney25.5

Source: Comscore

Back to the Oscars… with awards handed out in 23 categories, it didn’t take too long to see which films were going to be the winners of the evening. Poor Things picked up three early gongs for Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling and Costume Design and four in total while Oppenheimer took seven including the prestigious Best Picture prize.

Having again seen all the 10 nominees in the Best Picture category, here are my thoughts:

American Fiction

Funny, entertaining, and great turns by Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown.

Anatomy of a Fall

So many languages and an ambiguous ending. I left thinking about Messi and P.I.M.P. by 50 Cent, that is all I am saying.

Barbie

What can one say that hasn’t already been said? Ingenious, dazzling and PINK. It took over £50 million in eleven (11) days.

The Holdovers

A comedy of sorts which tackled serious issues in a very beautiful way while covered in snow. All three leads were brilliant and a deserved first Oscar for Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

Killers of the Flower Moon

Too long.

Maestro

Bradley Cooper is the star of this film which he wrote, directed and acted in. I predict he will win an Oscar one year.

Oppenheimer

Not long enough. A superb biopic which encompasses the life of the ‘father of the atom bomb’. Winner of Best Original Score, Cinematography, Editing, Picture, two actor awards as well as Best Director.

Past Lives

A moving film about two South Korean childhood friends who meet up in New York where one has lived for the last two decades. Both have experienced very different lives on opposite sides of the world.

Poor Things

The fantastical world of Bella Baxter – created by her ‘father’ an eccentric surgeon. It needs to be seen to be believed and it is not for the faint-hearted.

The Zone of Interest

The most profound and moving film of the year. It is the sounds that get to you. The authenticity that both Johnnie Burn and Tarn Willers strived for and achieved is remarkable and utterly horrific and, with Johnathan Glazer directing, this is my film of the year.

Justin Mallinson

Justin Mallinson

Co-founder and Director of Skin Communications