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Another year, and another night of fancy dress and surprise winners at the 2020 Oscars!

 

It’s that time of year again, where all the celebrities dress up in their best - and sometimes worst (think Bjork’s swan dress, circa 2001) – and celebrate a year of wonderful films.  Natalie Portman in particular, stunned on the red carpet. As both a fashion and feminist statement, the star chose to wear a custom black cape, embroidered with the names of the female directors that were snubbed at this year’s award ceremony. Names included Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Celine Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Mati Diop (Atlantics), and Marielle Heller (Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).

 

Cynthia Erivo, who was the only African American actor nominated this year for an award, gave a show-stopping performance as she sang the song ‘Stand Up’, from the Oscar Nominated film, Harriett.  The show didn’t stop there. After 18 years, Eminem finally got to perform his song Lose Yourself from his 2002 Blockbuster hit 8 Mile

 

While his performance may have been confusing and random to some, Eminem made the following comment on Twitter: “Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity…”, using the lyrics from his song to somehow explain his surprise performance.  Regardless, the crowd loved it and gave Eminem the standing ovation that he deserved.

 

Taking home the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design was the South Korean Film, Parasite. This is the first award to be handed out under the new name for the International Film category, which was previously known as Best Foreign Language Film.

 

This is the first time in history that a non-English film won the Best Picture award. While giving his acceptance speech, director Bong Joon-Ho thanked the other directors nominated for this category, particularly Martin Scorsese, which prompted the audience to give Scorsese a standing ovation for his work in film.

 

The award for Best Actor went to Joaquin Phoenix for his incredible leading role in Joker. While he was among some other very strong contenders in this category, his role as the Joker was raw, emotional and powerful, and personally makes him my favorite Joker by far.  His acceptance speech was also another favorite of the night. Phoenix used his time on stage asking for equality and for there to be more selflessness in the world, finishing off his emotional speech by quoting a lyric by his late brother, River Phoenix: “Run into the rescue with love and peace will follow.” This was Phoenix’s first Oscar win.

 

Winning Best Actress for her role in the biopic Judy, was none other than Renee Zellweger. Her portrayal of Judy Garland was breathtaking and wonderful, and while she was up against some pretty strong competition (Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, and Cynthia Erivo – all strong performances) this award was very well-deserved. This is the second Oscar in Zellweger’s career, having won Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for her role in the film Cold Mountain.

 

Taking home the win for Best Supporting Actor was Brad Pitt, for his role as stuntman Cliff Booth in the film Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood . The film had a very strong male cast, with Pitt playing alongside actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino, just to name a few.  While Pitt has won an Oscar once before, for producing 12 Years a Slave, this is his first win for acting.

 

The award for Best Supporting Actress went to Laura Dern, for her role as the hard-shelled divorce attorney in the film Marriage Story. While this film was nominated for Best Picture, along with 5 other nominations, Dern’s win was the only one taken home.

 

The winner for Best Animated Feature was none other than Toy Story 4. The fourth in the series did not disappoint. This film was beautifully written, and wonderfully animated, and just the latest in a long line of trophies for animation powerhouse Pixar.

 

The offbeat WWII film Jojo Rabbit, from New Zealand writer/actor/director Taika Waititi won Best Adapted Screenplay, based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens. The odds on favourite to win big this year had been Sam Mendes’ 1917, and it did win perhaps its most deserving award, Best Cinematography, for its seamless presentation of a single unbroken shot as two soldiers make their way across No Man’s Land and into enemy territory in WWI.

 

For a complete list of winners, please see Slist #43271

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy watching!

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