Oscars 2020 ceremony: All the best speeches, hilarious moments and big winners

South Korean film Parasite was a history-making big winner at the 92nd Academy Awards, taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood today.Earlier, stars walked the red carpet, with fashion highlights including a very glam Rebel Wilson, Margot Robbie looking stunning in black, and surprise attendee Blac Chyna baring almost all.
Below are all the key highlights from today’s ceremony — for a more exhaustive look at who won what, check out our full list of winners.
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During a ceremony not heavy on surprise wins, there was at least one welcome upset: The South Korean black comedy Parasite won Best Picture, beating out Hollywood hits like Joker and 1917. It’s a history-making win, as Parasite is the first non-English language to win the Best Picture Academy Award (although, does 2011 winner The Artist count? It was a silent film).
“We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now,” said the film’s producer, via an interpreter.
And with that — barely one line of an acceptance speech — the show’s producers turned the lights off on stage, apparently wrapping up the ceremony. The cameras quickly cut back to presenter presenter Jane Fonda at the side of stage, who appeared stunned at the sudden wrap-up, in scenes that momentarily recalled the chaos of the Oscars’ infamous 2017 Best Picture mix-up.
Whether or not the ceremony was running overtime, it seemed a bizarre, tone-deaf choice to cut the speech, particulary given just minutes before, award winners Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger were both allowed several minutes apiece to deliver sometimes rambling acceptance speeches, all without so much as a musical play-off to hurry them along.
Thankfully, the sudden switch-off prompted a huge chorus of boos from the A-list audience, with stars including Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron shown on camera demanding for the lights to be turned back on.
And so the lights came back on, and the final speech of the night continued to cheers and applause:
“I really, really, really want to thank our Korean film audience, our moviegoers who’ve been really supporting all our movies and never hesitated to give us straight forward opinions on what they feel… And that made us really never be able to be complacent and keep pushing the directors, the creators, keep pushing the envelopes. And, without you, our Korean film audience, we are not here.”
As expected, Brad Pitt took home the night’s first award, picking up Best Supporting Actor for his role in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.
Saying he was “gobsmacked,” Pitt said this awards season had put him in a reflective mood. “I am not one to look back but this has made me do so and I think of my folks taking me to the drive-in and seeing Butch and the Sundance Kid … loading out the car and moving out here… Gina (Davis) and Ridley (Scott) giving me my first shot (in 1991’s Thelma and Louise).
“To all of the wonderful people I have met along the way to stand here right now…. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood? Ain’t that the truth! This is for my kids who colour everything I do. I adore you.”
Also as expected, Laura Dern won the Best Supporting Actress award for her scene-stealing turn in Marriage Story. That means Aussie Margot Robbie will go home empty-handed tonight, as she was up for the same award for her work in Bombshell.
Laura dedicated the award to her “heroes”, her acting legend parents Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.
In what was a rare werlcome surprise, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho won the Best Director award for Parasite, having already won two earlier awards. “After winning Best international Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax,” he said through his interpreter.
“When I was young and studying cinema there was a saying I carved deep into my heart, which is that the most personal is the most creative. That quote was from the great Martin Scorsese,” he said, spurring on a standing ovation for Scorsese, who was also nominated in the category.
“When people in the US were not familiar with my work, Quentin (Tarantino, also nominated) always put my films on his list.
“And Todd (Phillips) and Sam (Mendes), great directors I admire, if the Academy allows it
would like to get a Texas chainsaw and split the trophy into five and share it all with you.”
Once more as expected, Renee Zellweger won Best Actress for her transformative performance as Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, while Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for Joker.
Last year’s Best Actress winner Olivia Colman fit in a few jokes before she presented one of the night’s biggest awards, explaining that last year’s ceremony had been “the best night of my husband’s life. He actually says that. And I’ve given birth three times.”
Colman presented the Best Actor award to… surprise, surprise: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker.
As with his previous award show speeches this season, Phoenix, who recently sent a disturbing climate change message to Australia in a new short film, gave an impassioned, political acceptance speech.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively, and I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But, for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism, or queer rights or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity,” he said.
“I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us what we’re guilty of is an egocentric world view – the belief that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that is intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.
“Now I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times. Hard to work with. And I ungrateful but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance and I think that’s when we are at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes but when we help each other to grow, when we educate
each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity,” he continued.
Voice wavering, Phoenix wrapped up his speech by paying tribute to his late brother River Phoenix.
“When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.’ Thank you.”
Rebel Wilson changed out of her very glam red carpet attire to present an award with James Corden, her co-star on the past year’s biggest cinematic misfire, the disastrous Cats.
“As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” the pair announced in unison.
It was an unexpected nod, given most of the film’s cast members have tried to distance themselves from it since its release — Corden even famously declaring he’ll never see it.
Who could’ve predicted this? The first F-bomb of this year’s ceremony came from none other than mild-mannered former Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano, as he and Sandra Oh presented the award for Best Hair and Make-Up.
I do want to say I saw first hand how talented hair and take-up people are. In The Irishman, they would transform us every day. I would just sit there every day and be amaze and then Patrick (Gallo, actor) would say, “Get the f**k out of my chair.”
That didn’t appear to be scripted — Romano quickly followed it up with a sheepish “I got carried away.”
“This isn’t Netflix… they’ll bleep that,” said Oh. “Everyone woke up there!”
Rapper Eminem was a surprise performer, taking to the stage to perform Lose Yourself, the theme song to his 2003 film 8 Mile. In this, the year of our lord 2020. Confused? So was Idina Menzel:
And Billie Eilish:
Martin Scorsese just seemed to sleep through the whole thing:
How have these two not hosted an award show yet? Bridesmaids stars and real-life besties Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig used their presenting gig to try and impress “all the directors in the room” with their acting skills. The pair started off angry (“It was an act! We’re acting!”), then got teary (“We cry too!”), before finally bursting into a well-reheared two-part musical interlude. It was hilarious — but so off-the-wall it left a few in the audience slightly confused:
Also very funny: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell, who used their presenting time to play up to the ‘self-obsessed Hollywood actor’ stereotype. Presenting the award for Best Cinematography, they explained the role of the cinematographer: “Not only does the cinematographer prepare the meals for the crew and cast, it is also the cinematographer who knocks on your trailer door to let you know that it is time to get to the set to create magic.”
Presenting their second award, for Best Film Editing, Dreyfus complained that editors “did a real number on me this year. Did you that I was originally in 1917? And Parasite!”
“Well, listen to this,” said Ferrell. “It was originally Ford versus Ferrari versus Ferrell.”
Without a host, it was left to singer, actor and all-round legend Janelle Monae to open the Oscars with an energetic musical performance, paying tribute to the films of the year. Pose star Billy Porter even popped up with a nod to Rocketman, one of this year’s biggest films.
Things got slightly awkward when she prowled the front row, thrusting the mic in front of stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson and insisting on a bit of audience participation.
After Monae’s performance, comedians Steve Martin and Chris Rock appeared together to deliver a joint opening monologue of sorts (just don’t call them hosts).
“I was thinking today, Chris, we both have hosted the Oscars before and this is such an incredible demotion,” said Martin. “They don’t really have hosts any more, why is that?”
“Twitter,” Rock quipped.
Martin assured the audience there would be no La La Land / Moonlight mix-up this year, as the Academy had moved to using the “Iowa Caucus app.”
“Mahershala Ali is here tonight. He has two Oscars. You know what that means when the cops pull him over? Nothing!”
They both ragged on billionaire Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, seated in the audience:
“When he writes a cheque, the bank bounces. Jeff is so rich he got divorced and he is still the richest man in the world. He saw Marriage Story and thought it was a comedy. Steve, do you have anything you want to add?” asked Rock.
“No, I like getting my packaging on time,” said Martin.
Tackling the all-male Best Director category, Rock said “I thought there was something missing from the list this year.”
“Vaginas?” asked Martin.
Finally, the duo tackled the Oscars’ ongoing diversity problem:
“Think how much the Oscars have changed in the past 92 years. Back in 1929 there were no black acting nominees. And now in 2020 we’ve got one. Amazing growth!” said Martin.