The 92nd Annual Academy Awards
The 92nd Oscars ceremony premiered on Sunday, February 9, and the winners lived up to predicted expectations. The Academy Awards began with a wonderful opening from Janelle Monet paying homage to Mr. Rogers before dueting with Billy Porter.
Steve Martin and Chris Rock’s opening monologue was the much-needed introduction to an otherwise hostless show. They did comment on the primarily white nominees and the lack of nominated women directors in the Best Picture category. To support this notion, Natalie Portman wore the names of the unnominated women directors in the gold embroidery of her black cape.
Brad Pitt won for Best Supporting Actor in Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood and continued his streak of touching acceptance speeches. Toy Story 4 took home Best Animated Movie, which was the first Oscar for Josh Cooley and Mark Nielsen. They expressed thanks on behalf of the cast and Pixar Studios’ crew and dedicated the movie as a love letter to their families.
Laura Dern received her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as the divorce lawyer in Marriage Story, graciously thanking her parents. This was one of few Oscars that went to a Netflix production.
Joaquin Phoenix received his first Oscar for Best Actor for Joker, and delivered a serious speech in which he addressed human rights, animal rights, and racism, among other causes. Joaquin ended with a moving reminder by quoting his late brother River’s song lyric.
Parasite stole the show with Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Directing and Best Picture. Bong Joon Ho gave much credit to Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino in his Best Directing acceptance speech. Most touching was when the guests gave a rousing applause to extend the end of the show by a few minutes for Parasite cast members to continue speaking after they had won Best Picture. This is the first time a non-English language film has won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Best Actress was won by Renée Zellweger (after a six-year pause from the Academy Awards) for her performance as Judy Garland in the film Judy. This is her first Oscar win after four nominations.
Notable presenters were Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, who sang an acapella introduction and showcased a phenomenal acting range as they presented Best Costume Design, won by Little Women. James Corden and Rebel Wilson appeared as fully costumed cats and batted at the microphone while presenting Best Visual Effects.
Ray Romano and Sandra Oh presented Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Romano commented on the first-hand talent of the artists, and how he was sitting amazed while being prepped for The Irishman, until Joe Pesci kicked him out of his seat.
Gal Gadot, Sigourney Weaver and Brie Larson introduced the first Female Conductor at the Oscars, Eimear Noone, who lead the symphony through the collection of Oscar-nominated songs.
Billie Eilish and Finneas performed The Beatles’ “Yesterday” for losses in the acting world, starting with Kobe Bryant and ending with Kirk Douglas— one of the biggest stars from the ’50s and ’60s. He is widely considered one of the last actors from the golden age of Hollywood studio filmmaking.
Eminem appeared with an unexpected performance of “Lose Yourself,” as well as Elton John, who sang “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” Cynthia Erivo performed “Stand Up” from Harriet, and Chrissy Metz sang “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2 was performed by powerhouses Idina Menzel and Aurora.