Arts & Entertainment

‘Parasite’ Wins Best Picture, Makes Oscars History

Courtesy of Walt Disney Television

The 92nd annual Academy Awards, which aired on Sunday, featured significant wins, notable snubs and captivating performances. “Parasite” made history as the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. It also won Best Original Screenplay and International Feature Film, while director Bong Joon-ho won the award for Best Director.

Brad Pitt and Laura Dern took home the Oscars for their supporting roles in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Marriage Story,” respectively. Renée Zellwegger won the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in “Judy,” and Joaquin Phoenix won for Actor in a Leading Role in “Joker.”

Parasite” racked up four awards during the ceremony, more than all its competitors.

It was followed closely behind by Sam Mendes’s “1917,” which won for Best Sound Mixing, Visual Effects and Cinematography. The rest of the awards were distributed relatively evenly among the nominated films. 

Taika Waititi became the first person of indigenous descent to win the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, which he won for his film “JoJo Rabbit.” This also makes him the first person of Māori descent to win the Academy Award for that category.

Despite garnering much praise during the lead-up to awards season, Martin Scorcese’s “The Irishman” was the only film in the Best Picture category not to win any award. Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” only took home the award for Best Costume Design, despite having been nominated six times in other major categories. 

Gerwig was one of many female directors snubbed for a directing nomination, alongside “The Farewell” director Lulu Wang and “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria. To commemorate them, Natalie Portman’s red carpet outfit featured a cape with the names of eight snubbed female directors embroidered in gold on the hem, with Gerwig, Wang and Scafaria among them. 

The Oscars went without a host for the second time in a row, with the show instead flowing smoothly between a star-studded list of presenters including Kelly Marie Tran, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Mahershala Ali. 

Comedians Steve Martin and Chris Rock poked fun at the controversies that have dogged the awards show in recent years, including the tweets that cost Kevin Hart his hosting gig for the 2019 Oscars and the dearth of nominations for female directors and people of color. With the exception of Cynthia Erivo, all nominees for acting roles were white. 

The show featured several musical moments, including a performance of “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II,” sung by Idina Menzel. She was accompanied by a host of international vocalists who dubbed the film’s soundtrack in their native languages. Erivo gave a powerful and moving performance of “Stand Up,” her original song which featured in the Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet.” Erivo received a nomination for both her song and for her role in the film. 

During a segment dedicated to the songs that shaped films, rapper Eminem made a surprise appearance to perform his Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself” from his 2002 film “8 Mile.” Though he received a standing ovation, his performance left some attendees looking lost. 

Billie Eilish sang a mournful and heartfelt rendition of the Beatles’ “Yesterday” for the “In Memoriam” segment, accompanied on the piano by her brother and collaborator, Finneas. The segment honored the likes of Kobe Bryant, Kirk Douglas, Peter Mayhew, Anna Karina and Diahann Caroll. Noticeably absent, however, were Disney star Cameron Boyce and “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Luke Perry. 

Perry, who died of a stroke in March 2019, made his last onscreen appearance in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which was nominated for ten awards. Though they weren’t included in the video shown during the awards ceremony, both Boyce and Perry are honored in the Academy’s online gallery

A complete list of the 2020 Academy Award winners can be found here

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