Being the biggest night of the year, the 2020 Oscars did not fail to close out the award season for the film industry with a bang. For the second consecutive year, the 92nd Academy Awards saw itself without a host as guests gathered at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Janelle Monae and Billy Porter kicked off the night with a musical performance of “Come Alive.” The performance included a makeshift tribute to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and some of the year’s completely ignored films: “Queen & Slim,” “Midsommar” and “Dolemite Is My Name.”
Following the performance, past Oscars hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock took to the stage for some early comedic banter.
It did not take the two long to start taking jabs at the lack of diversity within the nominations once again this year.
Brad Pitt’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor paved the way for winners that night, touching on the theme of politics with his comment on the academy giving him 45 seconds to speak on stage, which was more than the U.S. Senate gave John Bolton earlier that week. Joaquin Phoenix also followed with his acceptance speech for Best Lead Actor, touching on themes of animal rights, discrimination and superiority.
However, the Oscars aren’t just about political statements; they are also about having fun, and once in a while, someone at the ceremony will seem to recognize that.
Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig chose to switch things up a bit, and broke into song while announcing the winner for Best Costume Design, leading to an unexpected reaction from Billie Eilish. James Corden and Rebel Wilson didn’t fall short from the humor trend by walking on stage dressed as their “Cats” characters when announcing the nominees for Best Visual Effects.
The night was also filled with performances by Oscar nominees. Cynthia Erivo performed “Stand Up” from “Harriet”; Elton John performed “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”; Chrissy Metz performed “I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”; and Randy Newmanperformed “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4.”
Billie Eilish interpreted the Beatles’ “Yesterday” during this year’s “In Memoriam” montage and audiences were treated to a surprise performance by Eminem who sang his 2003 Oscar winning song “Lose Yourself,” with lyrics bleeped out in accordance with Federal Communications Commission regulations.
However, the best act of the night went to Idina Menzel and Aurora with their once-in-a-lifetime performance of their hit “Into the Unknown” from the film “Frozen 2.” The two took it to the next level and treated the audience to a performance filled with more than one language alongside artists Takako Matsu (Japanese),Kasia Laska (Polish), Gam Wichayanee (Thai), Gisela (Castilian), Willemijn Verkaik (German), Lisa Stokke (Norweigian), Anna Buturlina (Russian), Carmen Sarahi (Spanish) and Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (Danish).
There was never a dull moment during the Oscars, even during the final moments.
The biggest winner of the night went to the South Korean film “Parasite,” racking up four awards for Best Picture, Best International Feature Film, Original Screenplay and for Best Director (Bong Joon-Ho).
Producers Kwak Sin Ae and Joon-Ho, alongside the cast of “Parasite,” took the stage to accept the last award of the night. It was the first time in Oscars history that a non-English language film won Best Picture.
However, the crowd was not pleased to see the lights dimmed on the cast in the middle of its acceptance speech, which led the crowd to chant, “Lights on,” for them to be turned back on.
Other winners of the night included films such as “1917,” with three wins for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound Mixing. “The Joker” took home two awards for Best Lead Actor and Best Original Score. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” took home two awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Production Design.
“Ford v Ferrari” won for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. Renee Zellweger claimed the Best Actress award for her performance in “Judy.” Laura Dern took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role “Marriage Story,” and Taika Waititi took home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit.” Lastly, Best Animated Feature Film of the year went to “Toy Story 4,” and “Rocketman” won for Best Original Song.