Another Oscars season has passed. However, the despair felt from last year’s Best Picture win has been all but forgotten by the joyous euphoria felt by this year’s results. Despite the majority of award nominee’s and winners being straight white men, it was Korea that triumphed overall. Bong Joon-Ho’s Palm D’Or winning masterpiece made history as the first film not in the English language to win Best Picture (excluding the French/American production The Artist due to it being a silent film). It was a rare night in which the academy made, in my opinion, the right decisions. So let’s break down the winners, the losers and the confusion that took place at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards…
- Bong Joon-Ho
- Taking home 4 Oscars for Parasite, no one had a better night than co-writer/director/ producer Bong Joon-Ho. Joo-Ho took home Best Original Screenplay (with co-writer Jin Won Han), Best International Feature Film, Best Director and Best Picture (with producer Kwak Sin Ae). All four are incredibly well deserved and, in this writer’s opinion, the academy couldn’t have made a better choice. I imagine the Korean filmmaker must still be recovering from a monster hangover after stating he will “drink until next morning.” Take it easy Bong and drink lots of water.
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Joaquin dominated the Oscar season, winning absolutely everywhere nominated for his performance in Joker. On his fourth nomination, the actor took home his first Oscar. This win comes 19 years after his first nomination for Gladiator in 2001. Phoenix took to the stage and rather than thank a lot of people we don’t know, he delivered the most powerful and inspiring speech in Oscar history. Phoenix championed the best in humanity hoping to inspire societal change and unite us in the fight against injustice.
- Hildur Guðnadóttir and Women in Music.
- Guðnadóttir made history by becoming the first female score composer to win the Best Score Composer Oscar, as well as, becoming the first Icelandic person to ever win an academy award. She also took home the BAFTA and Golden Globe for her work on Joker. This Oscar win also makes Guðnadóttir one Tony away from an EGOT, having won an Emmy and Grammy for her work on HBO’s Chernobyl. Added to that, Eímear Noone made Oscar history by becoming the first woman to conduct the Oscar demonstration of the nominated scores.
- Double Nominee Scarlett Johansson
- Whenever there is diversity controversy in the film industry, I don’t know why Scarlet Johansson is close by. With only one non-white acting nominee, Johansson is nominated in both Leading and Supporting Actress categories for her performances in Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story. Johansson lost Best Actress to Renee Zellweger and Best Supporting Actress to Marriage Story co-star, Laura Dern. Johansson is undoubtedly a great actress and will win an Oscar someday, however it isn’t this year.
- The Irishman
- Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus The Irishman, or as he prefers it to be called, I Heard You Painy Houses, lost every single Oscar it was nominated for. The film was nominted for 10 academy awards including Best Director, Best Picture and with Joe Pecsi and Al Pacino nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Alas, it wasn’t The Irishman’s night as Scorsese lost Best Director and Best Picture to Bong Joon-Ho and Parasite, whilst Pesci and Pacino lost out to Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor.
- Sam Mendes
- 1917 went into the Oscars as the favourite to win Best Picture and director Sam Mendes was equally the favourite to win Best Director. Mendes has won The Golden Globe, BAFTA and Directors Guild of America Award for directing 1917. However, in one of the biggest surprises of the night, Mendes lost the Oscar to Parasite’s Bong Joon-Ho. Mendes was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture which he also lost to Bong Joon-Ho and Parasite. In the end, 1917 took home three Oscars for Cinematography, Visual Effects and Sound Mixing, nonetheless it must’ve been a disappointing night for Mendes who entered the favourite and left empty handed.
- Eminem performing Lose Yourself?
- 17 years after winning a Best Original Song Oscar for Lose Yourself, Eminem actually attended the Oscars this time, making a surprise appearance performing the song to much excitement and confusion, however no one was more confused than Martin Scorsese and you know what? I understand. Why was Eminem at the Oscars? Why is he performing when the academy want to cut down their run time? Who knows?
Normally I find myself dissatisfied in some way by the Academy’s choices, however this year I simply am not. I can’t believe I am saying this but, the Academy got it right! Hopefully Bong Joon-Ho and Parasite’s big wins at this year’s Oscars will open the world’s eyes to more international stories and filmmakers. As well as this, I hope this win becomes a stepping stone towards larger inclusivity and better diversity/ representation within the film industry as a whole. Nonetheless, a big well done and congratulations to all the winners at this year’s academy awards, especially to Bong Joon-Ho and the entire cast and crew of the four time academy award winning film, Parasite.