The Oscars 2020
Hindsight is in this year
Watching this year’s Oscars, I’m reminded of a song lyric (don’t worry, it’s not from “Lose Yourself,” I’m not that cheesy). The lyric comes from an old Staind tune “It’s Been Awhile,” that goes, “It’s been awhile since I could hold my head up high, and it’s been awhile since I first saw you.” Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m referencing a 2001 grunge song in relation to the 2020 Academy Awards. The reason? Because it has been a while. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the Oscars that loose. It’s been a while since I’ve seen controversy addressed appropriately with a bit of humour attached. And it’s been a while since I’ve seen a film like Parasite do as well as it did. But you know what they say, hindsight is 2020.
Let me start off by first, apologizing for that 2020 joke and; second, stating that the most powerful moment of the night came not from a film winning, but from someone speaking their mind. Joaquin Phoenix’s speech, for anyone that heard, drove many points home. One of the most notable takeaways from said speech was the “we’re stronger together” section, which addressed how working together/collaborating together is more beneficial than calling people out for their past mistakes (to an extent, of course). It’s a controversial statement at first glance, but taken with deeper meaning I think there is something to be said for trying to move forward from the mistakes of the past. Lord knows I’ve made mistakes, but each day is another day to be better.
Back to the films, it was a fairly even card for most of the show, which is rather interesting considering how recent years have had two or three movies clean-up. Bombshell took home Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Ford v. Ferrari shockingly won two Oscars for Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (one of my personal favourites of the year) also took home two awards for Best Production Design and Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt’s role as Cliff Booth.
1917 cleaned up fairly well, winning three Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects, which is the usual as far as war films go. As well, Jojo Rabbit emerged a surprise winner for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In terms of the more poppy awards, Best Animated Film went to Toy Story 4 (with Frozen 2 being notably absent from the ballot).Best Original Song’ went to “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (so catchy), and, moving away from poppy, Little Women won for Best Costume Design.
With regards to historic wins, Best Original Score went to Hildur Guðnadóttir for Joker. Hildur is the first female composer to win the award in 20 years, which is fairly notable considering, you know, it’s been two decades.
Moving right along, we head to the Best Actor, Actress, and Supporting Actress categories. Best Supporting Actress went to Laura Dern in Marriage Story, deservedly so, Best Actor went to Joaquin Phoenix in Joker, deservedly so, and Best Actress went to Renee Zellwegger for Judy, deservedly so.
Now we reach the big winner of the night, Parasite, which won four Oscars in total. Best Original Screenplay, an upset win with Tarantino being a favourite after his Golden Globe win, Best International Film, Best Director, another upset win with Sam Mendes being the favourite, and, of course, Best Picture. While winning four Oscars is big in it’s own right, the fact that Parasite is also the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture is also something that simply cannot be overlooked.
Yes, that was the 92nd Academy Awards in a nutshell, an event is spectacular and historic that you’d almost forget a 47-year-old rapper came out from under the stage to sing to an audience of mostly 50 somethings about mom’s spaghetti (I kid of course, Eminiem killed it on stage). I was going to attempt linking the song “Lose Yourself” with Parasite’s Best Picture win but some things are better left alone. On the same note as musical performances, Billie Eilish continues to have a dominant year as her Oscars Memorial performance literally left people in tears. Hard to deny that she isn’t basically just pure talent at this point.
On a more or less final note (apologizes for events during the show I missed), there was a lot to appreciate at this awards show. Parasite’s massive night, Eminem’s performance, Hildur Guðnadóttir’s historic win, Brad Pitt winning his first acting Oscar, Joaquin Phoenix’s fantastic speech, and any of the other numerous events that occurred, this was an Academy Awards to remember. Hopefully, this will open the door for more risk-taking on the Academy’s part in future shows. One can dream, anyway.