by Caroline Griffin
art by Hallie Anderson
Whether you are the film fanatic with predictions carefully contemplated before the show, the person who just wants to know who won best picture, or simply couldn't care less, there is no denying that the Oscars ceremony on Feb. 16 made cinema history. Puzzled looks from Billie Eilish, comedic bits, a surprise performance from Eminem and an amusing “Cats” cameo, the 92nd airing of the Academy Awards took some interesting turns, both good and bad.
Director Bong Joon Ho took the Oscars stage four times throughout the night for his film “Parasite,” receiving Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director and finally, Best Picture. This makes “Parasite” the first non-English language film to receive Best Picture. This win was a pleasant surprise out of a largely predictable list.
I, personally, tagged along with the general prediction that “1917” would take home the prize, but I am glad to have been proven wrong. Senior and film fanatic Claire Lee (12) was also surprised but satisfied by this win. “I think it's really good that the first movie not in English to win best picture is South Korean because it's got a huge, growing industry that's been super influenced by Western cinema and has, in turn, influenced our Hollywood,” she said.
Like last year, the Oscars took on another shot at being hostless, and this year, especially, it felt like there was no one in charge. While last year’s ceremony seemed to prove that the Oscars may not need a host, this year’s three-hour long show needed something to tie it all together. Award presenters appeared in strange places, performers like Elton John and Randy Newman weren’t introduced at all while some presenters were introduced, like Lin Manuel Miranda being presented by Anthony Ramos, only to introduce a montage.
One of the most interesting and controversial moments of the show was Joaquin Phoenix’s acceptance speech for Best Actor for his performance as Arthur Fleck in “Joker.” He began his speech touching upon the issues of injustice and selfishness, then quickly took a surprising turn.
Undermining the dairy farming process, Phoenix said, “We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
While many respected his opinion or at least the way in which it was delivered the risky and sensitive content, others did not approve.
Yes, moments of the Oscars caused it to seem like a train that fell off its tracks: no host, rambling speeches and one too many musical numbers. However, Bong Joon Ho’s delightful presence, montages of unforgettable movie moments and comedic relief from Maya Rudloph and Kristin Wiig made up for the chaotic times of the show. Most Oscars viewers aren’t watching for actual show, but rather for the awards given.
“I didn’t think it was any worse or better than previous years,” Claire Lee (12) said. But that’s because I never really pay attention to it for entertainment quality. Does anyone?”
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