2020 Oscars Retrospective – History in the Making

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History has been made. Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is the first film not in the English language to win Best Picture.

What a glorious surprise this is. While I predicted 1917 in my previous article, my prediction soon after changed to Parasite, as I sensed support for the film would be enough. And it was. Before tonight, South Korea had never won an Oscar. Now they’ve won four. Bong Joon-ho walking onstage to accept an Oscar four different times made a lovely sight.

There were a few films this season that I feel have been forgotten, such as Marriage Story, which won Supporting Actress, but should have won Screenplay also, and The Lighthouse, which was only nominated for Cinematography. I myself was a massive fan of Parasite and to see it win four Oscars makes my heart grow three sizes. This is a fantastic turnaround from the underwhelming Green Book win last year. Bong Joon-ho was a major upset in Best Director, having not won any precursors. 

And for other winners, Joaquin Phoenix finally won his Oscar, on his fourth nomination, and the other acting awards were as easy to predict as I thought they would be. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they all gave great speeches, especially Phoenix. Brad Pitt won his first acting Oscar (he won for producing previously), and Laura Dern won her first Oscar. Renee Zellweger took home her second Academy Award. Parasite and Jojo Rabbit won the screenplay awards, two picks that I love. Toy Story 4 managed to take home Best Animated Feature, which is Pixar’s tenth Academy Award. Parasite won International Feature Film (obviously). Joker won Original Score, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won Production Design, Elton John won Original Song, 1917 won Visual Effects and Cinematography, Bombshell won Makeup/Hairstyling, and Little Women won Costume Design, which I predicted. Hair Love won Animated Short, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone won Documentary Short, and American Factory won Documentary Feature, all of which I predicted. The surprises for me were The Neighbor’s Window in Live Action Short, Ford v Ferrari in Sound Editing and Film Editing, Bong Joon-ho in Directing, and Toy Story 4 in Animated Feature.

All in all, I loved this year’s ceremony, no matter how random some moments were (Eminem performing “Lose Yourself” for some unknown reason; James Corden and Rebel Wilson in fur suits). Parasite’s win alone is enough to make me elated and jump for joy. The Academy got it right this year. I can’t believe it. History has been made.