Highlights from the 2020 Oscars

Biggest Winners of the Night

Best Picture: Parasite

– Parasite is the first foreign film to win Best Picture in the Oscars’ 92-year  history.

– It is also the first film to win both Best Picture and Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

Best Director: Bong Joon-ho for Parasite

– A surprising win for Joon-ho, considering he was up against Todd Phillips, director of Joker, and Sam Mendes, director of 1917.

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker

– Is anyone really surprised here?

Best Actress: Renée Zellweger for Judy

– No comment

Performances – The Good, The Flawed, and The “Huh?”

The Good

– Janelle Monáe’s high-energy opening number, featuring nods to the biggest films of 2019, both awarded and snubbed

– Elton John’s upbeat performance of Best Original Song winner “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from his very own biopic, Rocketman

– Cynthia Erivo’s powerful performance of nominated song “Stand Up” from Harriet, the film she received a Best Actress nomination for

The Flawed

– Idina Menzel and AURORA’s performance of “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2,during which they were joined by nine other actresses from around the world who lended their voice to dubs of the film. While sweet in its inclusion of said voices and lovely in scenery, the performance did suffer a bit from Menzel’s slightly off-beat singing and struggle to reach the signature high notes. Nevertheless, she persisted, and managed to deliver an enjoyable musical performance.

The “Huh?”

– Eminem’s surprise performance of his Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself” halfway through the ceremony left quite a few viewers scratching their heads, confused as to what exactly the rapper was doing at the event 18 years after said win. It appears to be related to Eminem’s absence from the 2003 ceremony where the song was honored; he has since taken to Twitter to explain his surprise appearance, stating: “Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity…Thanks for having me @TheAcademy.”

Presenters – A Parade of Ups and Downs

The Ups

– Josh Gad’s light-hearted introduction to Idina Menzel’s aforementioned performance, highlighting the merits of dubbing films internationally and poking fun at John Travolta’s infamous mispronunciation of Menzel’s name

– Known Hollywood music man Lin-Manuel Miranda’s touching speech on how music can impact a film leading into Eminem’s performance

– The one comedy bit that landed this year: James Corden and Rebel Wilson, co-stars in a certain movie called Cats, stepping onto the stage to present the Best Visual Effects award while dressed as their characters from the film, throwing a tongue-in-cheek joke about Cats’ notorious effects into their speech

The Downs

– When it came to comedy, the ceremony felt lacking this year. Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus certainly tried their best to add jokes into their presentations, but many of them felt oddly-placed and awkwardly delivered. It seems sincerity reigned in speeches this year.