Did you watch the 92nd Academy Awards last night? It was quite an evening! To be completely honest, it feels like the film industry has been in a major slump for a while. It’s been hard to get excited about awards season. For the first time in a while, this was an exciting year. So many of the Oscar contenders were great, which made last night’s show that much more thrilling. Let’s look at some of the best 2020 Oscar Moments.
League of Elsas Lead Us “Into the Unknown“
In case you missed it, Frozen II hit theaters last year. The melodies from the highly anticipated sequel may not have gone as viral as those from the first film, but the main track, “Into the Unknown” was nominated for “Best Original Song.” Rather than have Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa, sing it alone, she was joined onstage by the voice actresses who portray Elsa in different international markets.
Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (Denmark), Willemijn Verkaik (Germany), Takako Matsu (Japan), Carmen Garcia Saenz (Latin America), Lisa Stokke (Norway), Kasia Laska (Poland), Anna Buturlina (Russia), Gisela (Spain), and Gam Wichayanee (Thailand) all took turns singing a line from the song in their respective native languages. It was a really beautiful moment.
Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig
While presenting the awards for Production Design and Costume Design, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig took the opportunity to bring some levity to the event. They joked about wanting to show off their acting chops as there were many famous directors in the audience.
Then, they launched into a musical medley, belting out a wide range of songs including “Vogue” by Madonna, “Thong Song” by Sisqo, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra, and “U Got the Look” by Prince.
Brad Pitt Wins His First Oscar
After appearing in so many iconic roles, it’s hard to believe that Brad Pitt had never won an Oscar—until last night! He took home the prize for “Best Supporting Actor” for his portrayal of Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. He beat out some true heavyweights (Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci) for the honor.
The actor said he was gobsmacked by the reaction to his performance during this awards season. “Once upon a time in Hollywood, ain’t that’s the truth,” he said. “And to my kids, who color everything I do, I love you.” He shares Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox with ex-wife Angelina Jolie.
Laura Dern Wins First Oscar, Too!
It’s equally surprising that the amazing actress, Laura Dern, had not been recognized by the Academy until this year, but finally, she can say she’s an Oscar winner. She walked away with the prize for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a divorce attorney in Marriage Story.
Dern, who turns 53 today, said winning was “the best birthday present ever,” and thanked her children with ex-husband Ben Harper, Ellery and Jaya, as well as her stepchildren, CJ and Harris (Harper’s kids from a previous relationship). She also said she shares the honor with her “acting heroes,” Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, who just so happen to be her parents!
Eminem Surprises Everyone
Nearly two decades ago, Eminem won the Best Original Song for “Lose Yourself,” from the 8 Mile soundtrack. At the time, he declined to attend the Oscars, saying it “wasn’t his sort of gig,” and missed out on his moment. His co-writer, Luis Resto, accepted the award from presenter, Barbra Streisand.
Last night, he took to the stage to perform the hit, shocking everyone in the audience. To address any confusion, Eminem posted a clip of Resto accepting the award without him along with the caption, “Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @theacademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.”
Joaquin Phoenix Makes Emotional Speech
It wasn’t a big surprise that Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor award for his inspired performance in Joker. It also wasn’t a surprise that he took the moment to address societal issues, as he’s done that for this entire awards season. This time, though, he seemed to really get it right. The audience was absolutely captivated.
He spoke of the need for us all to live with more love and compassion. “I’ve been a scoundrel all my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance,” he said. “And I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.”
Emotionally, he referenced his brother, the late actor River Phoenix, who died in 1993 from a drug overdose at 23 years old outside of the iconic Viper Room in Los Angeles. “When he was when he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric,” he went on. “He said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.'”
“Parasite” Makes History
It was a huge night for South Korean film, Parasite, which won Best Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director, and Best Picture. This is the first time in Oscars history that a non-English film won the biggest prize of the event.
Director Bong Joon Ho was visibly shaken by the accolades, explaining that he wasn’t expecting to take home so many awards. He used his time to share a quote from fellow directorial nominee, Martin Scorses, and to thank Quentin Tarantino (also a nominee) for his support over the years.
When the lights dimmed as executive producer Miky Lee went to speak, the stunned audience chanted “Up! Up!” until the Academy producers turned the lights and mic back on to let finish her acceptance speech. The media mogul, who owns a $4.1 billion entertainment empire, heaped praise on Bong saying, “I like everything about him. His smile, his crazy hair. The way he talks, the way he walks, especially the way he directs. And what I really like about him is his sense of humor. And the fact is he can be really making fun of himself, and he never takes himself seriously. Thank you.”
While she soaked up the accolades in Los Angeles, Lee also made sure to recognize the people who made this movie a success: “I really, really want to thank our Korean film audience: our moviegoers who’ve been really supporting all our movies and never hesitated to give us straight-forward opinion on what they feel like their movies.”
Overall, it was a really stellar night at the Oscars. It feels like it’s been a long time since it’s been so good. We hope it’s a sign that the movie industry is back on top of its game.