The Oscars, 2020: Parasite’s Historic Win and Everything Else You Missed

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ABC/Craig Sjodin

Bong Joon Ho, director of the South Korean film "Parasite," accepted his Oscar for Best Picture amidst roaring applause.

Emma Peterson, Contributing Writer

On Sunday, February 9th, history was made at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards when Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite became the first ever non-English language film to win “Best Picture.” Although Sam Mendes’ 1917 had been the anticipated frontrunner for “Best Picture”, the South Korean social satire film instead capped off its winning streak with the trophy, adding it to its already-lengthy list of wins, including “Best Director”, “Best Original Screenplay”, and “Best International Feature Film.” Sophomore Helen Kahn comments, “Bong Joon Ho is a director I had never heard of, but now I really want to watch Parasite,” who was surprised but impressed by the film’s wins.

There was less surprise with regards to the four acting categories, where popular predictions were fulfilled:

  • As expected, Joaquin Phoenix took Best Actor for his leading performance in Joker. He stunned viewers in an acceptance speech that “broke the internet” by using his win as a chance to advocate for equality and call attention to the “fight against injustice,” whether it be animal rights, gender inequality, or racism. As he put it, he wanted to “give a voice to the voiceless.” Watch it here.

  • Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, using his speech to criticize Senate Republicans.

  • Renée Zellweger’s outstanding performance in Marriage Story won her Best Actress.

  • And, after two unfruitful nominations in 1992 and 2015, Laura Dern finally took home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Marriage Story.

Some of the most notable winners at this year’s Oscars included:

  • Parasite: Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and International Feature Film

  • 1917: Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing

  • Ford v. Ferrari: Best Sound Editing and Film Editing

  • Jojo Rabbit: Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Best Production Design

  • Toy Story 4: Best Animated Feature Film

  • Little Women: Best Costume Design

  • Joker: Best Original Score

  • Rocketman: Best Original Song

For the second year in a row, The Oscars went host-free, and it paid off– Janelle Monáe kicked off the night with an energetic musical number. She also interjected a shoutout to all the female directors of the year that were not nominated for an Oscar, despite worthy contenders such as Greta Gerwig for Little Women and Lulu Wang for The Farewell.

Chris Rock and Steve Martin, who had both hosted the Oscars in the past, followed Monáe with six minutes of comedy and jokes that added to the sprightly energy of the room.

Billie Eilish performed the In Memoriam segment of the show, singing an emotional cover of the Beatles’ “Yesterday” as a slideshow of members of the film industry who had passed away in 2019 played on the screen behind her.

Frozen 2, nominated for “Best Original Song”, also offered a powerful performance that sophomore Catelyn Arnold said was her “favorite part. Idina Menzel sang “Into the Unknown” with all of the women who voice Elsa from around the world, which was a super cool nod to the international success of the film.”

Finally, many fans eagerly awaited the Red Carpet outfits of their favorite celebrities, and were not disappointed. Celebrities wore outfits designed by fashion designers Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren, among others. Natalie Portman stood out in a fashion-forward move, wearing a cape with the names of female directors who were neglected mention at this year’s Oscars stitched into the lapels. Timothee Chalamet (considered “super hot” in the popular opinion of many Hingham High girls) arrived in an outfit that looked like a cross between a gas station worker, car valet, and mechanic, surprising fans.

Admittedly, many find it hard to sit through the entire 3.5 hours long awards show. However, for all of those who still want to see more highlights and stand-out moments, click here for a recap of the funniest moments of the night.