Oscars Recap

Story posted February 10, 2020 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Andrew Field

Another year, another Oscars. With the 92nd annual Academy Awards all wrapped up, let’s recap some of the big winners, story lines, and heartfelt moments that made this year’s Oscars so special.

No Host, No Problem

For the second year in a row, the Oscars had no host, and again it was not an issue. Each transition to the next presenter was seamless as it helped cut down the run time of the show and allowed for speeches to go a little bit longer.

Fan favorites Chris Rock and Steve Martin, along with Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, and Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus all had great moments during their segments of presenting.

Historic Wins for “Parasite”

The surprise of the night was the movie “Parasite” taking home four awards which included: Best Director (Bong Joon-Ho), Best International Feature Film, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay.

Many were happily surprised to see that “Parasite” upset favorite “1917” for Best Picture. Though, as a result of that win, “Parasite” became the first film not in the English language to win the Best Picture Award.

Director Bong Joon-Ho, a native of South Korea, gave both unique and touching speeches each time he got up to the microphone. He graciously thanked all of the other nominees through broken english and his translator Sharon Choi.

Joon-Ho had a few iconic quotes throughout the night, but the best had to be when his Choi translated a saying that Joon-Ho always remembered.

“The most personal is the most creative,” Choi translated.

That quote was from fellow Best Director nominee and long-time filmmaker, Martin Scorsese.  

Certainly this win was not only impactful for him and the whole cast and crew of the film, but also to foreign filmmakers across the world as it showed that anyone can make great cinema.

A Year of Firsts

Along with “Parasite” taking home a plethora of firsts, a few actors and actresses won their first career awards as well.

Brad Pitt took home his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Pitt has previously won an Academy Award for his producer role on Best Picture winner in 2014, “12 Years a Slave.” His win marks the first time he’s won an Oscar for acting.

Laura Dern also won her first Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in “Marriage Story.” Previously, Dern had been nominated for her roles in “Wild” (Best Supporting Actress Nomination) and “Rambling Rose” (Best Actress Nomination). The third time was the  charm here for Dern.

Similar to Dern and Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix had never been able to attain an Oscar win. Phoenix had been nominated three times previously, twice for Best Actor in “Walk the Line” and “The Master”, and once for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Gladiator.”

Phoenix’s win for his role in “Joker” breaks the current trend of firsts, as it was the second time an actor has won for portraying the Joker character on screen. The late Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor in the 2009 Oscars for his role in “The Dark Knight.”

Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir won her first Oscar for Best Original Score for “Joker.” In the process, she beat out four legendary composers in John Williams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”), Thomas Newman (“1917”), Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”), and Randy Newman (“Marriage Story”). It was truly another major feat as Guðnadóttir will be etched into Oscars history.

A Touching Tribute

The “In Memoriam” this year was performed by Billie Eilish and Finneas as they sang a cover of the Beatles famous song, “Yesterday”.

The first person on the screen was Kobe Bryant. Bryant won an Oscar in 2018 for Best Animated Short film for, “Dear Basketball.” Many paid tribute to Bryant and his legacy throughout the night. One of which specifically was director and filmmaker Spike Lee, a close friend to Bryant. Lee wore a yellow and purple suit with the number 24 on it to honor his former friend.

Other Big Winners

Renée Zellweger was able to secure her second Oscar win for her role as Judy Garland in the film “Judy”. Zellweger had previously won Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for her role as Ruby Thewes in “Cold Mountain”.

Taika Waititi was also victorious in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for his work in the humorous and heartfelt movie “Jojo Rabbit.”

Roger Deakins earned his second Oscar for Best Cinematography for “1917.” “1917” took home two more Oscars, (Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing) to bring its total to three for the night.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Ford V Ferrari,” and “Joker” all took home two Oscars. It is interesting to note that “Joker” was the most nominated film going into the night, as it garnered 11 nominations but was only able to take home two.

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” won Best Original Song as Elton John and Bernie Taupin accepted the award for their work on the music and lyrics respectively.

Overall, this was an Oscars to be remembered. Not only did the many victories of “Parasite” make this special, but there were many first time winners, emotional tributes to Kobe Bryant, and even a performance by Eminem to get the crowd going. The 2020 Oscars will certainly not be forgotten for a long time.


Andrew Field is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email aaf5329@psu.edu.