watched every second of the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, and I feel positive and energized right now. The right stuff won, things moved along at a good pace, and Josh Gad made me laugh. To quote Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare In Love, “it is a nyew wuhlllld.”
We must begin with the Best Picture win for Parasite, the first non-English language film ever to win the top honor. Bong Joon-Ho tied Walt Disney’s record four Oscars in one night, did it with a truly devastating film about income inequality, and ended his Best Director acceptance speech by saying: “I will drink until next morning,” thereby becoming my favorite Academy Awards participant in history. The safe money had been on 1917, a fine cinematic achievement and also the film that made me realize that war movies are slasher flicks for your dad.
Come for the speeches, stay for the memes. This year’s Oscars 2020 ceremony was a momentous event, with some surprise winners and astonishing musical performances. Missed the live stream? Don’t worry, as we’ve got you covered with our essential Oscars 2020 recap.
Whether you couldn’t keep track amid all the glitz and glamour, or tapped out midway through, everything is here: the shocks, the opening monologues, and the key speeches. So, without further ado, here are all the major moments from the Oscars 2020 ceremony.
Oscars 2020 opening
It’s an Oscars tradition. Before the actors and actresses thank everyone they’ve ever met for their shiny, gold statuette – we get an opening number. Channelling A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Joker, and even Midsommar, Janelle Monae brought the song and dance in a big way.
While there’s no host this year, there was still time for a quick verbal skewering, courtesy of Steve Martin and Chris Rock. Their targets? Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt, and Mahershala Ali.
Oscars 2020 recap: every major speech from this year’s Academy Awards
Here are the main Oscars 2020 speeches from the 92nd Academy Awards. The long, the short, and the downright hilarious.
Janelle Monae opened the show with a number incorporating tributes to Us, Midsommar, Dolemite Is My Name, and Harriet, about which she said “We gon’ take it to the underground, y’all,” which immediately unseated the song “Yoga” as the number one thing only Janelle Monae could pull off. Her energy is strong and strange, and my theory is that people drink kombucha because they think it will turn them into her.
Best Supporting Actor Brad Pitt said the Oscar producers only give winners 45 seconds, “45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.” Good for him. The Oscars are never not political, but now that we live in a world where the President of the United States will absolutely tweet something sassy in return, you might as well say something interesting.
Diane Keaton’s outfit asked the eternal question “where in the world is Carmen Sandiego,” while her behavior asked “is Carmen Sandiego okay?” Rebel Wilson and James Corden showed up as Jennyanydots and Bustopher Jones, and stressed the importance of good visual effects. All three of the aforementioned human beings in this paragraph beat the hell out of their microphone stands. Timothee Chalamet presented with Natalie Portman, and continues to be overlooked for his work as lead singer of Spandau Ballet.
Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig continued to look like the only two people enjoying themselves wherever they are, even if their banter seemed to confuse Billie Eilish, who was in first grade when Bridesmaids came out. Idina Menzel seemed confused by Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which we all were, and now she’ll be known for a brand-new thing that has nothing to do with her talent. Overall, I don’t know if the camera operators got lucky with the night’s reaction shots, or if everyone in awards show audiences is constantly auditioning to be a meme.
The conductor for the Best Score medley was Eimear Noone, the Oscars first maestra, a move so progressive my spellcheck hasn’t learned the word maestra yet. She was great, and though it feels retrograde to comment on her looks, there is no getting around the fact that she was serving “Kim Carnes dressed as C-3PO for Halloween.” The winner of Best Score, Hilder Guonadottir, underscored the fact that Icelandic people of all genders are variations on Bjork.
Joaquin Phoenix’s win for Best Actor seemed inevitable, and with his speech he singlehandedly made me order an Impossible Burger for dinner. Joker will remain a movie I have not seen, and the brief snippet of its stage directions in the Best Adapted Screenplay montage reminded me why: Arthur dances on the steps “to the music in his head,” and the music in his head is Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part 2.” I don’t need to see a movie if the music in the protagonist’s head can be found on volume one of “Jock Jams.”
The spirit that permeated the night was one of joyful inclusion. Sure, the four acting winners were very white, but the rest—from Taika Waititi to Karen Rupert Toliver and Matthew Cherry of Hair Love to the whole cast and producers of Parasite onstage at the end—seemed like emissaries from a happier, more cooperative and diverse artistic world. A place you’d want to be.
I didn’t miss a host, I could have done with another 30 minutes, the politics felt important and unforced and at the very least ruined Jeanine Pirro’s night. I enjoyed the whole thing, and only sometimes ironically. It was a good Oscars. I will drink until next morning.