Hollywood staples and industry newcomers dazzled in extravagant suits and gowns at the 92nd Academy Awards, honoring the best filmmaking of 2019. The much anticipated award ceremony aired Feb. 9 live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
The glamorous event went host-free for the second year in row, instead featuring comedians Steve Martin and Chris Rock who only delivered the opening monologue of the show. Typical hosting duties such as introducing the presenters of the awards were given to numerous other actors such as Joker’s Zazie Beetz, 1917’s George Mackay, and Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein.
Grammy-nominated artist Janelle Monae opened the show performing the Mr. Rogers theme song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” on a stage that resembled the classic television show. Monae transitioned into an elaborate number featuring backup dancers dressed in costumes from the films Little Women, Joker, Midsommar, Us, Queen & Slim and 1917. Pose’s Billy Porter joined her onstage dressed as Dolemite from Dolemite Is My Name. Monae interacted with the audience throughout the performance, having actresses Cynthia Erivo, Brie Larson and Kathy Bates sing into the microphone. The electrifying number received a standing ovation from the audience.
The evening saw performances from Elton John, Randy Newman, and Chrissy Metz singing songs from their respective films Rocketman, Toy Story 4, and Breakthrough. The most shocking performance came from rapper Eminem performing his hit “Lose Yourself.” The song won best original song back in 2003. At the end of the night, the rapper posted his performance to his Instagram, writing “Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.”
The first category of the evening presented the Oscar for Actor in a Supporting Role to Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’s Brad Pitt. This was Pitt’s second Oscar-win, notably his first for one of his acting roles. His first win was in 2014 for best picture 12 Years a Slave which he produced.
In his acceptance speech, Pitt reflected on loading up his car and moving to Los Angeles to standing on the Academy Award stage as a winner, saying “…once upon a time in Hollywood. Ain’t that the truth.”
Other winners of the night included Laura Dern as Actress in a Supporting Role, Rene Zellweger as Actress in a Leading Role, and Joaquin Phoenix as Actor in a Leading Role, which came at no surprise since they won in the same category throughout the award season. The final win of the night shattered 91 years of Oscar history naming Parasite the first South Korean film and most notably the first film not in the English-language to win best picture.
Parasite director Bong Joon Ho received an outpour of love and standing ovations from the audience each time he went onstage for his wins for best director, best original screenplay, best international feature and best original screenplay.
“When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart, which is, ‘The most personal is the most creative,’” Bong said through an interpreter, while accepting the Oscar for best director.
He then proceeded to speak in English: “That quote was from our great Martin Scorsese,” inspiring the entire audience to rise to their feet to honor Scorsese, with some of the crowd members shouting “Marty.”
Legendary actress Jane Fonda presented the award of best picture to Parasite, immediately receiving chants, applause and a standing ovation from the audience. During the acceptance speech, the lights went down on the cast and crew of the film as the camera panned over to Fonda, indicating the end the show as it had run thirty minutes over its scheduled time.
Chants of “up, up,” were led by Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron sitting in the front row, throwing their hands up for the Oscars production team to give the film the spotlight and time they deserved. The lights went back up for Parasite, allowing the award winning crew to continue their speech, resulting in erupting applause.
“I’m speechless,” said Parasite producer Kwak Sin Ae. “We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy.”
For more information regarding winners and nominees, visit the Oscars official site.