Messi, the Iconic Dog From “Anatomy of a Fall,” Stole the Show at the 2024 Oscars · The Wildest

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Messi, the Iconic Dog From “Anatomy of a Fall,” Stole the Show at the Oscars

The pup wasn’t nominated for best actor, but he won in our hearts (and in Ryan Gosling’s, too).

by Sio Hornbuckle
March 11, 2024
Messi dog at the Oscars
Courtesy of @theacademy

There were a lot of noteworthy moments from last night’s Oscars ceremony (John Cena’s appearance comes to mind), but there was one undisputed star of the evening: Messi, the iconic dog who starred in best picture nominee Anatomy of a Fall as the characters’ dog, Snoop.

The Border Collie’s appearance was a delightful surprise after it was previously reported that he would miss the ceremony — nothing could keep this good boy from the spotlight. 

In his opening monologue, Jimmy Kimmel (who rehearsed jokes with Messi earlier this week) said what all of us were thinking: “Messi, who even though he’s a dog, may have given the performance of the year in Anatomy of a Fall.” The camera then cut to Messi, who was dressed up for the occasion in his best bowtie. 

Messi’s biggest moment of the night — and maybe the biggest moment of the night, period — was when the camera cut away from Robert Downey Jr.’s win to show Messi politely clapping in the audience. To those who wondered, How in the world is he bending his doggie arms like that?, don’t fear — they were fake paws, which his trainer Laura Martin Contini posted on Instagram after the ceremony. 

While other attendees were electrified by Messi’s presence (Ryan Gosling’s a particularly big fan), the pup himself was cool as a cucumber. Makes sense; he’s no stranger to attention. Earlier this year, he won the Palm Dog award at the Cannes Film Festival. (You can even buy a shirt commemorating that achievement.) He also attended the Oscars luncheon, where he was so cute that it caused controversy — some of the film companies argued that Messi’s presence might sway voters

Messi holds his own as an actor, too. The pup’s performance in Anatomy of a Fall was legitimately impressive — at one point, Messi has to pretend to be sick, and it’s a serious physical feat.

“I would work with [him] when he was really tired and put him in these specific positions for [his tongue] to do that,” Laura Martin Contini, Messi’s trainer, told The Wildest last year. “It was an intense day of filming, but by the end of it, I was really happy because I realized how much of a big cinematic moment it was going to be on screen.”

Despite Messi’s screen time, Anatomy of a Fall was beat out by Oppenheimer for best picture (though it won best original screenplay). Messi wasn’t nominated for an Oscar himself due to some narrow-minded, human-centric rules, but he stole the show, anyway — and he won in our hearts by a long shot. 

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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