In the lead up to the Oscars, critics and film fans were torn between the “safe” choice 1917 and the Korean film Parasite. Bong Joon Ho’s film ended up winning the biggest award of the night and became the first foreign language film to take home the top prize as the best picture of the year.
The film’s win was also supported by the Oscars audience on Sunday. When the light went off on the group during their acceptance speech, due to time contrasts, the crowd chanted “up” until the light and the microphone were back on so they could finish sharing their thoughts.
When the Oscar nominations were announced earlier this year, the Academy quickly received widespread criticism for a lack of diversity in its nominees.
For this year’s Academy Awards, there aren’t any female nominees in the Directing category, sparking outrage that Little Women director Greta Gerwig was not included. Many also criticized that major categories are dominated by white, male nominees.
The 92nd Oscars ceremony was not off to an ideal start, with Mother Nature dropping a ton of rain that soaked the area outside the Dolby Theatre, causing leaks on the red carpet.
But the show must go on as we found out who went home with a coveted Oscar. See the latest winners, and highlights here:
‘Parasite’ comes out on top
In the historic Academy Awards moment, Parasite took home the biggest award of the night, the first foreign-language film to ever receive the prestigious award.
The other filmmakers, executives and actors in the audience couldn’t get enough of the film and its creators, chanting to raise the lights after the group exceeded their time limit in the acceptance speech.
“We never imagined this to ever happen, we are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now,” producer Kwak Sin-ae said in the acceptance speech. “I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all the members of the Academy for making this decision.”
The film received a total of four awards Sunday night but the director stayed humble, actually apologizing to the award engravers back stage for having “too many” Oscars.
Renee Zellweger’s ‘Judy’ beats the competition
Renee Zellweger’s performance in the biopic of the late Judy Garland received a ton of praise in this year’s awards season - and the Oscars were no different.
“I am certain that this moment is an extension of the celebration of her legacy that began on set and is also representative of the fact that her legacy of unique exceptionalism and inclusivity,” she said in her acceptance speech.
Joaquin Phoenix remembers his brother River
Joaquin Phoenix was the favourite to win the Oscar for lead actor for his starring role in Joker.
In his emotional acceptance speech, the first-time Oscar winner made a passionate call for change in the world, highlighting his activism for animal rights, in particular.
He went on to recount a song lyric from his brother, the late River.
“Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow,” Phoenix said, quoting his brother.
‘Parasite’ director wins top prize
Bong Joon Ho beat out heavy-hitters Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Quentin Tarantino and Todd Phillips to be named best director at the 92nd Academy Awards.
The Parasite director made a point to call out Scorsese, who he says was a significant inspiration for him as a filmmaker. The Irishman director stood up to applaud the new Oscar winner.
“When people in the U.S. were not familiar with my films, Quentin always put my films on his list. He's here, thank you so much. Quentin, I love you,” Joon Ho went on to say.
“If the Academy allows, I would like to get a Texas chainsaw, split the award into five and share it with all of you. Thank you. I will drink until next morning, thank you."
‘All women are superheroes’
The importance of women in Hollywood continued to be a topic of discussion at the Oscars, with Brie Larson, Gal Gadot and Sigourney Weaver coming together to present the award for best original score.
“All women are superheroes,” the group said, before introducing Eimear Noone, the first female conductor who led the orchestra at the Academy Awards.
Icelandic composer, Hildur Gudnadóttir, went on to win an Oscar for best original score for the film Joker. She is the first woman to win in the category.
"To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up, we need to hear your voices," Gudnadóttir said in her acceptance speech.
Can’t get rid of ‘Cats’
James Corden and Rebel Wilson graced the stage in cat suits to present the award for best visual effects.
Getting into character, stopping to play with the microphone (as you might expect a cat to do), the two said “as cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects."
The film received significant criticism for its “digital fur technology” used to transform the film’s stars. Just when you thought you could get away with not having to hear about Cats anymore, it’s still going.
Eminem makes a comeback
After Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a montage of films with great musical memories, ranging from Titanic to Say Anything and Hustle and Flow, an unexpected artist appeared to perform a song that was popular in the early 2000s.
Eminem was on the Oscars stage and performed “Lose Yourself,” the song made famous in the film 8 Mile, based on the rapper’s life, starring Eminem as the lead character.
Not everyone in the audience looked like they quite understood why the performance occurred, but fans of the rapper and the song were bobbing along, ending with a standing ovation.
Social media questions and praise for Shia LaBeouf
Actor Shia LaBeouf presented the award for best live-action short with Zack Gottsagen, the first Oscar presenter with down syndrome. The two worked together on the film Peanut Butter Falcon.
After it was revealed that the award went to The Neighbor's Widow, some people took to social media to call out LaBeouf for apparently laughing and looking “impatient” when Gottsagen began announcing the winner.
So disrespectful watching shia leboeuf laughing at / being impatient with a man with special needs on stage at the #Oscars— Cam Connolly (@c_conn96) February 10, 2020
But not everyone agreed, many thought the entire moment was honest and heartfelt, adding that the criticism online was completely unnecessary.
🤦🏼♂️ the actor with down syndrome is in Peanut Butter Falcon with Shia. They're friends. He's laughing at his nervousness. Not at him. It's awesome they included him in the ceremony. #RepresentationMatters #Oscars— Mike Stanley (@Stanimal032) February 10, 2020
Elsas from around the world
Josh Gad was on stage to introduce a performance by Idina Menzel for Frozen 2’s popular song “Into the Unknown.”
Before the performance started, Gad made a joke about the U.S. and Canada, saying Canadian Elsa is the same as the American one - but with better healthcare.
Menzel was not alone for her song, the talented singer was joined by Elsas from around the world, who sang portions of the song in their native language.
The powerful moment ended with the women from across the globe standing together after the multilingual performance.
Brad Pitt’s emotional acceptance speech
The favourite pick for best supporting actor, Brad Pitt, ended up taking home the first award of the night for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood.
"They told me I only had 45 seconds this year, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week," Pitt said at the beginning of his speech.
This is the first acting Oscar for Pitt, after winning a best picture award for producing 12 Years a Slave in 2014.
Pitt got emotional when accepting the award, also calling out Leonardo DiCaprio, saying he would “ride on [his] coattails any day.”
A musical beginning and the non-hosts
The host-less award show started with the music stylings of Janelle Monae, followed by the addition of Billy Porter.
Monae mentioned that she wants to celebrate all of the female filmmakers, taking a jab at the Academy, proudly stating that she is a black, queer woman opening the ceremony.
The musical start to the show was followed by legendary comedians Steve Martin and Chris Rock, who humorously explained that there isn’t a host for the show because of Twitter, and there won’t be any award mixups because they’ll be using the Iowa caucus mobile app.
Martin and Rock also poked fun at Jeff Bezos, and his insane amount of wealth, in addition to saying that “vaginas” were missing from the Directing category of the awards and indicating that there is still a lack of black nominees, even 92 years into the Academy Awards legacy.