The 92nd Academy Awards was the second hostless edition in 30 years – who can forget that Kevin Hart debacle that seemed to last forever? It was a big night for Laura Dern (who won her first Oscar just hours before her birthday), Renée Zellweger (who now has a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG Award, and an Oscar for her role in Judy), and Brad Pitt (who finally has an Oscar for acting). But it’s safe to say that famous Swarovski-studded stage at Dolby Theatre was ruled by dark comedy Parasite, which made history many times over and made for some memorable moments. Here, Savoir Flair recaps the ones worth knowing.
Launching the Oscars on a kicky note, Janelle Monáe took to the stage alongside Pose star Billy Porter and backup dancers dressed like characters from nominated films, performing a medley of songs and (rightfully) receiving a standing ovation.
“We’ve had a great time not hosting tonight.”
To the delight of audiences, Steve Martin and Chris Rock – both former hosts – kicked off the ceremony, blaming Twitter for the fact that the Academy Awards is hostless once again and having a couple of laughs at the expense of bigwigs like Jeff Bezos and Martin Scorsese, both of whom were present in the audience.
Things were off to a great start as Josh Gad got the pronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name right – unlike that famous John Travolta flub back in 2014. He introduced Menzel, who performed “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II alongside other actresses from around the world who voice Elsa. What resulted were powerfully performed lyrics in Japanese, Polish, Thai, Castilian, German, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Danish.
Blast from the Past
We barely remember who won for Best Original Screenplay because Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves presented the award, causing us to gush as they collectively made references to the 2003 romcom that made us fall in love with them all over again: Something’s Gotta Give.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Keaton is still as delightfully awkward and quirky as ever. And yes, Parasite won for its screenplay, making it the first South Korean film to win an Oscar. It also won in the Best International Feature Film category, which up until this year was known as Best Foreign Language Film.
Leave it to Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig to make the Production Design category memorable, purely for how hilarious they were as presenters. Not only did they ‘audition’ for the many powerful directors in the audience in an attempt to prove they’re so much more than comedians, but they also broke into song while presenting the Oscar for Best Costume Design, cracking up just about everyone in the room.
It was entirely unexpected, but very much enjoyed by Hollywood’s elite, who bopped their heads the whole time: Eminem performing his 2002 hit, “Lose Yourself”. It preceded the award for the Best Sound Editing category, which was won by Donald Sylvester for Ford v Ferrari.
It was a touching moment as Bong Joon-ho took his time on stage when he won Best Director to acknowledge the role that Martin Scorsese has played in his career, which led to the audience honoring the legendary director with a standing ovation.
No Laughing Matter
In a moment that surprised absolutely no one, Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for his role in Joker and, much like his win at the BAFTAs, his acceptance speech was downright somber as he addressed everything from racism and animal cruelty to gender inequality. The actor is now the second person in history to take home a statuette for playing the well-known villain; Heath Ledger won posthumously for his role in The Dark Knight in 2009.
For the Win
Please excuse us while we go celebrate Parasite winning Best Picture, becoming the first foreign-language film to win in this category.