By Andrea Valdez
Every year, thousands of film fans tune in to one of the biggest nights for film and Hollywood. Celebrities are all dressed up in their finest designer clothing, acceptance speeches touch the hearts of many, and everyone always looks forward to seeing who will win in the Best Picture and Best Actor/Actress categories.
In the lead for most Oscars swept the night of Feb. 9 was the underdog from South Korea, “Parasite,” which was directed by Bong Joon Ho, winning in the categories Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and the one to take the cake, Best Picture. This is the first time a film from South Korea has both been nominated and won in the Best Picture category.
In the Best Actor categories, Joaquin Phoenix takes the win for Best Actor for his portrayal as Arthur Fleck, also known as the Joker, in the critically acclaimed 2019 film “Joker.” In the Best Actress category, the winner is Renée Zellweger for her portrayal as Judy Garland in the biopic “Judy.”
This year’s Oscars were full of firsts. As mentioned before, this was the first time a South Korean film had been nominated for the Best Picture category, and it was a real win not just for the people who worked on the film, but also for South Korea. Director Bong Joon Ho said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” He wanted those in the audience and those watching at home to see the diversity in film is so grand, and as moviegoers, people should explore more films than just the ones in their comfort zone and native language.
The Oscars also made history with its first presenter with Down syndrome. Actor Zack Gottsagen alongside “Peanut Butter Falcon” costar Shia LaBeouf presented the award for Best Live Action Short Film, which went to “The Neighbors Window.”
This was also the first time a female conductor led the Best Original Score portion of the Oscars. Irish conductor Eimear Noone led the orchestra as they played the music for the nominees in the Best Original Score category. Winner for Best Original Score went to Hildur Guðnadóttir for her work on “Joker.”
Special highlights of the night included performances by Elton John with his Oscar-winning song from the movie “Rocketman,” “I’m Gonna Love Me Again;” Idina Menzel (along with actresses who played Elsa in other countries) performing “Into the Unknown;” Billie Eilish performing a beautiful cover of the song “Yesterday” by the Beatles; and an unexpected yet crowd-raising performance of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.