The 2020 Oscars are done and dusted. As with previous years, a lack of diversity (only one nominee in the acting categories is a person of colour) and inclusivity (no women directors were nominated) came into focus. However, in a surprising turn of events, the black horse of this awards season, a South Korean thriller, emerged as the biggest winner.
Here, we recap the moments that melted our hearts and brought on the feels!
Natalie Portman’s woke cape
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Natalie Portman’s Dior cape was embroidered with the names of female directors not nominated for the Oscars. Easily Best Outfit of the night.
Spike Lee’s Kobe Bryant suit
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His custom-made, purple Gucci suit had ’24’ patches on the lapel and back, in remembrance of Kobe Bryant, whose number was 24 when playing for the LA Lakers. Kobe won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film (Dear Basketball) in 2018.
Little Julia Butters smuggling in a sandwich
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) February 9, 2020
There are benefits to being 10 years old at arguably the world’s most talked-about awards show. One of it: getting to bring (and eat) your own choice of food. What we should learn from this: our stomach is more important than side eyes from people who have no business being judgmental.
10 Elsas, from around the world, singing together
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 10, 2020
Idina Menzel was joined in her performance of Into the Unknown by 9 women who provided the signing voice for Elsa in the foreign-language dubs of Frozen 2. They are from Denmark, Germany, Japan, Latin America, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Thailand. Also part of the performance was Aurora, a Norwegian singer who is the ‘voice of the mountains’ in the song and animated movie.
Laura Dern sharing the award with her parents
Both her parents are actors. They’ve been nominated in the past, but have never won. In the audience, Laura’s mum was understandably moved to tears. Laura won her first Oscar – Best Supporting Actress – for Marriage Story. “Some say never meet your heroes. But I say if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents… I share this [Oscars] with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern,” she said, in her acceptance speech.
Joaquin Phoenix quoting his late brother
The Best Actor winner, who surprised no one by picking up the award for his role in Joker, acknowledged his past misdeeds in his speech. He also dropped in a emotional reference to brother, River Phoenix, who died of a drug overdose at just 23 years old in 1993. “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric: He said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.’”
Renée Zellweger paying tribute to Judy Garland
Renée has been on fire this awards season, winning nearly all the major accolades for her lead role in the Judy Garland biopic. She dedicated the win to Judy, while also taking a more subtle approach to the upcoming American presidential elections by acknowledging common ‘heroes’ as a unifying factor.
“When we celebrate our heroes, we’re reminded of who we are, as one people, united. And though Judy Garland did not receive this honor in her time, I’m certain this moment… [represents] her legacy of unique exceptionalism and inclusivity and generosity of spirit,” she said.
Parasite’s groundbreaking wins
Yes, wins, in the plural! The South Korean movie earned four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, and Best Screenplay. It made history by being the first foreign-language film to ever get a Best Picture nod, the most coveted prize of the night. In his speeches, auteur Bong Joon-Ho quipped that he’d be drinking all night, thanked Quentin Tarantino for championing his work, and paid tribute to Martin Scorsese, who he has admired since young. One more proof that dreams can, and do, come true!
In a heartwarming moment that transcended barriers in culture and language, the audience refused to let the acceptance speech of the Parasite cast get cut off. Together, they kept chanting to keep the lights back on, and for the on-stage celebrations to continue.
Sandra Oh’s reaction to Parasite’s win
She expressed, in actions, what we felt inside — jumping up from her seat to applaud the cast, and getting emotional at the movie’s critical success. The actress is known to be vocal about the lack of representation on the big screen. Thank you for representing us, sister!