11 most award-worthy moments from the 2020 Oscars

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: (L-R) Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter perform onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: (L-R) Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter perform onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /

The 2020 Oscars weren’t necessarily a surprising affair, but they were certainly an entertaining one. Here are best moments from the 92nd Academy Awards.

The Oscars are over, but before we decompress from the pressure of cramming in last-minute trips to see the nominees and turn our attention back to TV, let’s reminisce over the best parts of a very enjoyable evening.

The highest of the highlights, of course, was the Parasite party. Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece picked up awards in four of its six nominated categories (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director and Best Film) and Bong endeared himself to a nation with consistently delightful acceptance speeches. But he wasn’t the only one picking up hardware and from toasts to bangers, there’s a lot to celebrate from an award-worthy 2020 Oscars.

Here are the best moments.

1. Janelle Monae opens the 2020 Oscars

How would the Oscars do without a host for a second year? Just fine, thank you very much.

The Academy enlisted the formidable Janelle Monae to open the 92nd Academy Awards with an assist from Billy Porter and an ensemble that was paid homage to 2019’s best films, both in song (the Oscars’ favorite move) and in costume. Following up with a mini-monologue from hosting veterans Steve Martin and Chris Rock was a nice touch, too.

2. Brad Pitt gets political

Brad traded in his workshopped jokes about singledom and stardom for something a tad more political, but ultimately anchored in traditional appreciation for his first acting Oscar.

3. International “Into the Unknown”

While “Into the Unknown” may never be the iconic earworm “Let It Go” is, a collaborative performance featuring international vocalists all performing in their respective languages always plays well and that’s exactly what Idina Menzel and the extended Elsa co. delivered early in the show.

4. The Parasite party starts with Original Screenplay

Parasite‘s expectations entering the 2020 Oscars were a little murky. From oddsmakers to previous award shows, all signs pointed to a successful night and yet it still seemed unlikely that the people who gave Green Book Best Picture less than a year ago might see fit to shower the Korean thriller in awards outside the Best International Film category. But the Parasite party got started early with Best Original Screenplay, with an Oscar that marked South Korea’s first ever recognition at this little local festival.

5. Cats gets its 2020 Oscar moment

Remember Cats seemed like a real Oscar contender? Before the trailers, and long, long before the reviews dropped and the film opened and this instant cult-horror classic was unleashed on unsuspecting musical-loving audiences. Well, Cats got its 2020 Oscar moment after all when James Corden and Rebel Wilson made a loving jab at just how much they could appreciate good special effects.

6. The needle-drop that launched a thousand memes

The Academy put together at truly banging montage of Best Original Songs and needle-drops that highlighted the best of what the worlds of movies and music can do when they work together.

Then, Eminem came up from the stage to perform “Lose Yourself” live and the crowd reactions — special shout outs to Billie Eilish, Idina Menzel and Martin Scorsese — highlighted the best of what the worlds of celebrity and memes can do when they work together.

7. Taika Waititi’s land acknowledgment

In the middle of the show, when the Academy does all its ceremonial awards and recognition-listing, freshly minted Oscar winner, director, screenwriter and actor Taika Waititi have a brief land acknowledgment before saying, “The Academy would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, the Tataviam and the Chumash. We acknowledge them as the first peoples of this land on which the motion pictures community lives and works.”

It’s — as far as we’re aware — the first such acknowledgment and feels like a result of Waititi himself being a nominee (now winner), but hey, whatever gets the Academy where it needs to go.

8. Well, Eimear Noone is a badass

The Oscar for Best Score — ultimately won by Hildur Gudnadóttir for Joker — was introduced with a medley of the nominees, conducted by Eimear Noone, the Academy’s first (yep, we’re still doing ‘firsts’) female conductor. She absolutely slayed, earning a standing ovation and fist-pump from Janelle Monae in the process.

9. Real recognizes real

Bong Joon-Ho, three deep into acceptance speeches, gave an phenomenal one for Best Director. Yes, the Best International Speech had the instantly-iconic “I am ready, ready to drink…until next morning” line, but Best Director included his touching anecdote about the impact Martin Scorsese had on his approach. (Plus a little love for Quentin Tarantino too.)

10. On-brand Joaquin

Where Pitt zigged when all award season he had been zagging, Joaquin Phoenix stayed 3000 percent on brand in his acceptance speech for Best Actor for Joker. A brief list of topics he touched on include: gratitude, his fellow nominees, the love of film, his platform, the fight against injustice, the natural word, egocentrism, stealing a cow’s baby and milk, being a scoundrel, the good of humanity and love.

11. Up! Up! Up!

When Parasite won Best Picture, the feeling was euphoric. All the wins leading up to Best Picture were thrilling, but that a Korean film could win Best Picture still seemed too good to be true. But it wasn’t! It happened. It really happened. And after a short, sweet acceptance speech from producer Kawk Sin-ae, the Oscars cut the lights. Show over.

Nope. Miky Lee, one of the most powerful moguls in Korean cinema, had more to say. Chants of “up, up, up” could be heard as the crowd cajoled the lights back up to keep the Parasite party going.

Next. Every winner from the 2020 Oscars. dark