And the Oscar Goes to...Joaquin Phoenix for ‘Joker’, Renee Zellweger for ‘Judy’, South Korean ‘Parasite’ Is the Best Picture and Bong Joon-ho Is the Best Director
South Korean film "Parasite" beat Hollywood biggies like "Joker", "1917" and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" to win the best picture Oscar that was given a musical touch by artistes such as Elton John and Eminem.
Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor Oscar playing superhero Batman's nemesis in "Joker", while Renee Zellweger got the best actress honour for "Judy", at the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Interestingly, South Korea made a deep impact as Parasite emerged as best picture, while filmmaker Bong Joon-ho become the second director of a non-English film to win the Oscar for best director. Brad Pitt received the Oscar as best supporting actor for his portrayal of stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood". Laura Dern won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as a divorce lawyer in "Marriage Story".
Joaquin Phoenix faced tough competition from actors like Adam Driver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. After winning his first Oscar, Phoenix got emotional and quoted a lyric by his late brother River: "Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow."
He also spoke about injustice, honoured the natural world and said let love and compassion be "our guiding principles. We're at our best when we support each other and not cancel each other out. That is the best of humanity," he said.
Renee Zellweger was the best actress for her film, 'Judy', a biopic of actress and singer Judy Garland. She was nominated alongside actresses like Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson. One of those heroes, for her, is Garland, and Zellweger paid tribute to "her legacy of unique exceptionalism and inclusivity and generosity of spirit".
South Korean film "Parasite" created history at the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony by winning the best picture. It is the first non-English to win the top honour.
At the gala on Sunday night, director Bong Joon-ho along with "Parasite" cast and crew got on stage as the audience gave a standing ovation to the team for their victory.
"Parasite" defeated films such as "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", "Joker", "Jojo Rabbit" and "The Irishman" to win the best picture award. The comedy-drama also won in best directing, international feature film and writing (original screenplay).
South Korean Alfonso Cuaron had won Oscar for "Roma" in 2018.
This year, at the 92nd Academy Awards, Bong was honoured for "Parasite". He was up against directors like Quentin Tarantino ("Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"), Todd Phillips ("Joker") and Sam Mendes ("1917").
While collecting his award for best director, he said: "After winning best international feature, I thought I was done for the day. I was ready to relax."
"Parasite" revolves around one family who cons their way into the employ of another, much wealthier, family. The film's themes centre on wealth and entitlement, the disappearing middle class and moral relativism in the face of survival.
The movie also won in the international feature film category, defeating other nominees from countries like France and Spain. It was earlier called best foreign language feature.
The Oscars did not have an official host this year too, but it was well opened by Janelle Monae's musical performance.
Minutes later, former hosts Chris Rock and Steve Martin hit the stage and delivered a stand-up comedy set in which they called out the Academy for not nominating any woman in the best director category.
Actress Natalie Portman also weighed in on the issue by wearing a cape featuring names of female directors not nominated for an Oscar this year.
However, women power could be seen on stage. Two on-screen superheroes (Brie Larson and Gal Gadot) and Sigourney Weaver, introduced Irish conductor Eimear Noone—the first woman to conduct at the Academy Awards.
Composer Hildur Gudnadottir scored an important Oscar win for women. She is the first woman to win an Academy Award for best original score in two decades.
Moving forward, president Donald Trump's recently-concluded impeachment trial was also given a mention at the Hollywood's biggest night when actor Brad Pitt got on the stage to receive his supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".
Taika Waititi, who wrote, directed and co-starred in the anti-fascist story "Jojo Rabbit", won the best adapted screenplay award and dedicated it "to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original storytellers, and we can make it here."
Waititi is the first indigenous filmmaker to win an Oscar.
Talking about immigrants, before announcing the Academy Award for best animated feature film, Indian-American comedian Mindy Kaling said she found solace in animated films as a 'shy' young girl from an immigrant family.
Now that she's older, she recognises that animation is one of the most sophisticated forms of storytelling.
"I can't wait to introduce those worlds to my daughter now," Kaling said before announcing "Toy Story 4" as the winner.
As for best animated short, it went to former athlete Matthew A Cherry for "Hair Love". It's the same category that late basketball player Kobe Bryant won in 2018.
If Kaling was a presenter, Indian-American filmmakers Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan competed in documentary short subject category. Their "St. Louis Superman" lost to "Leaning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)".
India found a place in the winners' list too. Director Sam Mendes' war drama "1917", which has Reliance Entertainment and Amblin Partners among the banners associated with the film's production, took the Oscar for best visual effects, beating tough competitors like "Avengers: Endgame".
The World War I epic also won the best cinematography award at the ceremony held in Hollywood on Sunday night.
India's presence at the gala continued. Indian composer AR Rahman, who had won Oscars for his song "Jai ho", made it to an original song montage.
This wasn't the only musical touch at the ceremony. Eminem, Elton John, Randy Newman, Chrissy Metz, Idina Menzel and Billie Eilish entertained the audience that consisted of stars like Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Jane Fonda and Martin Scorsese.
The Memoriam segment, delivered to Billie Eilish singing the Beatles' "Yesterday", featured names including Kobe Bryant, Doris Day, Peter Fonda and Kirk Douglas.
Among other winners, "Ford v Ferrari", a racing drama, won the best editing award. It won for sound editing too.
"American Factory", backed by former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, was announced as the winner of the best documentary feature.
Designer Jacqueline Durran's work in "Little Women" helped her win the best costume design.