Here's why Al Pacino did not read the nominees while presenting Best Picture award for 'Oppenheimer'

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024
"Oppenheimer" closed out the night with an Academy Award win in the Best Picture category during the 2024 Oscars.

LOS ANGELES -- All eyes were on "Oppenheimer," directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt, at the Oscars on Sunday. The film dominated throughout awards season.

Now, it's been named Best Picture at the 2024 Academy Awards.

The top prize of the night was presented by "The Godfather" star Al Pacino - who seemingly jumped the gun by announcing the winner before listing the nominees. But Pacino and his team say that was the plan all along.

Al Pacino presents the award for best picture during the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Al Pacino presents the award for best picture during the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

"There seems to be some controversy about my not mentioning every film by name last night before announcing the best picture award," Pacino said in a statement. "I just want to be clear it was not my intention to omit them, rather a choice by the producers not to have them said again since they were highlighted individually throughout the ceremony."

SEE ALSO: 'Oppenheimer' wins 7 Oscars, including Best Picture; Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy get statues

Rather than listing all 10 nominees while presenting the best picture Oscar, or offering an "And the Oscar goes to," Pacino said "Here it comes" before slowly opening the envelope.

"And my eyes see 'Oppenheimer,'" Pacino said, before the camera quickly panned to the winners in the audience.

Cillian Murphy won his first-ever Oscar, taking home the trophy for Best Actor for his performance in "Oppenheimer."

People were, of course, quick to take to social media to comment about the bizarre announcement. The ceremony had presenters honor each nominee before unveiling the winner throughout the evening, so it was natural for viewers to wonder why Pacino chose not to.

"I realize being nominated is a huge milestone in one's life and to not be fully recognized is offensive and hurtful," Pacino said. "I say this as someone who profoundly relates with filmmakers, actors and producers so I deeply empathize with those who have been slighted by this oversight and it's why I felt it necessary to make this statement."

"Oppenheimer" won seven Oscars Sunday night, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. It also won for Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography. Ludwig Göransson also took home the Oscar for Best Original Score.

It was the first Oscar win for Murphy, Downey and Nolan.

The film earned a leading 13 nominations and has earned nearly $1 billion worldwide.