Oscars 2024 | Al Pacino’s Best Picture presentation; did he forget his lines or was he ad-libbing?

Did Al Pacino forget how to present an award at the 96th Academy Awards, or was the Oscar winner “methoding” his Best Picture presentation?
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It would seem that the organisers of the 96th Academy Awards, held in Los Angeles overnight, seemed to go off without a hitch; with “Oppenheimer” and “Poor Things” winning their expected awards and a stunning performance by Ryan Gosling for “What Was I Made For?” leading to Billie Eilish earning her second Academy Award for Best Song.

But while there has been a lot of discussion regarding John Cena’s presentation at the Academy Awards overnight, the talk surrounding Al Pacino’s presentation of the Best Picture Oscar has become almost as widely debated as Cena’s “streak.”

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Pacino, a Best Actor winner in 1993 for “The Scent of a Woman,” took to the stage to present the final award of the evening, but looked rather confused about what he should be doing or what he should be saying ahead of presenting the Best Picture award. Waxing lyrically regarding if he should be performing Shakespeare, the 83-year-old revealed “Oppenheimer” to be the winner - but in a somewhat interesting manner.

While receiving the envelope and opening it up, Pacino revealed to the audience that he “sees Oppenheimer,” leading to some confusion from the crowd at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles overnight. When he then read out the names of the producers involved, it seemed only then that the audience realised that Christopher Nolan’s film had scooped the biggest prize of the evening.

It led to some discussion on social media regarding if the entire presentation was planned that way or if Pacino had a momentary lapse in what he had to do aside from opening the envelope. One user on X (formerly Twitter) remarked they enjoyed the way Pacino delivered the Best Picture winner, while another user wrote “Al Pacino was like, “I ain’t standing here while you read out 10 nominees bro. Oppenheimer come get your s**t.”

Full Al Pacino Best Picture speech

“Some Shakespeare is in order now, I don’t know. To be… no, I’m not going to do it no.. no. Well, this is the time for the last award of the evening and it’s my honour to present it. Ten wonderful films were nominated, but only one will take the award for Best Picture. I have to get the envelope for that, and I will.”

“Best Picture…uh, I have to go to the envelope for that. And I will. Here it comes. And my eyes see Oppenheimer? Yes… yes... Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan…”

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