The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

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The National Honor Society provides help in many AP exams. Tutors were assigned to one subject to improve their tutees experience, providing advice based on previous experience in each class. “I recommend coming to these AP cram sessions because you can receive help from students who have previously and recently taken the test,” NHS board member Katie Ho (12) explained.
Time to Cram!
Katelyn Baba, Staff Writer • May 9, 2024
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The 2024 Oscars: A Bold Year for Film

The+highly+coveted+Oscar+trophies+illuminate+on+the+display+ahead+of+the+96th+Academy+Awards.+This+year%2C+late-night+comedian+Jimmy+Kimmel+reprised+his+role+as+host.
Art/Photo by Los Angeles Times
The highly coveted Oscar trophies illuminate on the display ahead of the 96th Academy Awards. This year, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel reprised his role as host.

Whether it was the concluding storyline of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the story about the birth of the atomic bomb, or the tragic depiction of the Osage Indian murders of the early 1900s, 2023’s film rollout had something for everyone. In a time where smaller indie and arthouse pictures rival big-budget films, the essence of celebrating the art of filmmaking has never been stronger. On March 10, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 96th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre. For the most part, the ceremony was met with good reception and a consensus that the academy made great decisions.

   The true winner of the night was Oppenheimer, one of the largest and longest movies of the past year. It won seven out of its thirteen Oscar nominations, bagging large categories such as Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Picture. The director of the film, Christopher Nolan, won his first Oscar after being nominated for his other hits  Memento and Inception. He humbly stated in his long overdue speech that he thanks the academy for believing he’s a “meaningful part of [film]” and that it “means the world.” 

   Despite Oppenhemier’s large success, its best picture reveal was met with confusion and criticism. Al Pacino delivered the announcement, forgoing the roll call of nominees and directly stating his “eyes see Oppenheimer” when revealing the winner. Valerie Perea (11), a casual viewer of 2023’s Oscar film rollout, thought Pacino’s delivery was anticlimactic, “which was disappointing for such a big category being revealed.” For the most part, she enjoyed the show and the awards given. Although, she would’ve liked to see more awards and representation given to not just the “same few movies” like Oppenheimer and Poor Things, which won a majority of the categories. 

   Besides Pacino’s announcement, Kimmel was met with some controversy over his jokes about Robert Downey Jr. Kimmel mocked Downey Jr’s controversial past, which he did not look happy about. Despite the inflammatory jokes, Downey Jr. accepted his award for Best Supporting Actor in Oppenheimer for his captivating portrayal of Lewis Strauss.“It felt wrong to be bringing RDJ down when he should be celebrated,” stated Grace Delaney (12), a film student at West. Other than some minor complaints, Delaney enjoyed the 2024 Oscars, believing it was a “good summarization of the movies that came out” and did a good job recognizing the cast and crew “for their hard work and creativity.” 

   One positive highlight of the night was Ryan Gosling’s performance of “I’m Just Ken” from the blockbuster Barbie. After going viral across all social media platforms, it made sense that Gosling’s eccentric song would be played at the celebration of 2023’s films. With impressive choreography and a special appearance from Guns N’ Roses’s Slash, the performance was a highlight to many. Delaney loved the goofiness of the act due to it bringing “fun and lightness to what can be seen as a serious and competitive award show.” Despite the phenomenon Barbie became after the film’s release this past summer, it only received one Oscar for the song “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish

   Despite numerous box-office hits being nominated, the line-up for Best Picture was diverse. Films like The Zone of Interest and The Holdovers stood fair chances against large-scale productions by known directors and studios. “A lot of [smaller films] deserve those awards as much as the big blockbusters,” Perea contended. Although it comes down to personal opinion, the diversity of films represented at the ceremony articulates a great syllabus of the films showcased in 2023. Seeing how this year’s indie films squared up against box office behemoths, the anticipation for next year’s show cannot be any stronger.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Parker
Anthony Parker, Entertainment & News Editor
Anthony Parker is the News and Entertainment editor for his second year on West Signals. He hopes to provide exciting coverage on the news and events in West's community. In his spare time, Anthony likes to read, work out, and make videos. He hopes to one day become a filmmaker.