The 2020 Oscar Winners: Parasite's Big Night!
The 92nd Annual Academy Awards were presented on Sunday, February 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, and the night was full of pleasant surprises. In a year where the awards seemed to be largely a foregone conclusion thanks to the consensus created by other awards bodies, the 2020 Oscars winners were marked by a couple of big upsets that made for a memorable show.
While the World War I movie 1917 had been tipped as a likely Best Picture winner, the South Korean movie PARASITE, about three families whose lives intersect thanks to one rich household, took home four big awards. The film's showing and specifically writer/director/producer Bong Joon Ho's statue haul broke records. JOKER won two trophies, while 1917 and Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD also took their own bounty.
[Image Credit: Universal Pictures]
On the technical side, celebrated cinematographer Roger Deakins won for 1917. It's his second Oscar and comes two years after winning for BLADE RUNNER 2049. (Deakins was nominated for a whopping twelve Oscars before winning for BLADE RUNNER in 2018.) Best Costume Design went to Jacqueline Durran, for LITTLE WOMEN, while Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland won Best Film Editing, for FORD V FERRARI. That movie also won Best Sound Editing, while 1917 took home Best Sound Mixing and also the Best Visual Effects Oscar.
Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker won Best Makeup and Hair, for BOMBSHELL, while Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh took home the Best Production Design Oscar for ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD. All told, the technical categories were awarded to a pleasantly wide array of films.
[Image Credit: Sony Pictures]
The acting honors went down almost exactly as close followers of award season would have predicted based on awards from the Hollywood guilds and other major groups: Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor for ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD, while Laura Dern won her first Oscar, at long last, for MARRIAGE STORY. Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for JOKER, while Renee Zellweger took home Best Actress for JUDY.
JOKER also won the Best Original Score Oscar, as composer Hildur Guðnadóttir was honored for her work on the movie. One award went to the World War II satire JOJO RABBIT, as writer/director Taika Waititi won Best Adapted Screenplay for his adaptation of Christine Leunens's book "Caging Skies." TOY STORY 4 won Best Animated Film, expanding Pixar's Oscar collection to 20.
And while ROCKETMAN didn't get the same sort of Academy Award attention that BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY enjoyed last year, Elton John and Bernie Taupin won the Best Original Song award for the film's tune "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again."
[Image Credit: NEON]
And then there was PARASITE, for which Bong Joon Ho won the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay (with Han Jin Won) and Best Director. The movie also took Best International Feature Film and Best Picture. It's the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture, and consequently also the first time one movie won both Best International Feature Film and Best Picture.
Because Bong Joon Ho is the producer on PARASITE, he accepted the Best International Feature Film and Best Picture awards — and that ties him with none other than Walt Disney for most Oscars won by a single person in one ceremony. Disney took home four statues in 1954 for Short Subject and Documentary categories, so Bong's Oscar night is arguably bigger, as he won all four for the same film. (PARASITE is also the first movie to win both Best Picture and the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d’Or.)
While PARASITE didn't sweep the Oscars in the classic sense, as THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS last did in 1991 by winning the two major acting awards, directing, screenwriting and Best Picture, it's the closest thing we've seen to a sweep in almost 30 years — and given the records the movie broke at the 2020 Oscars, this will go down as one of the most memorable Academy Award events in history.