Bong Joon Ho on top: A history making night at the Oscars

Evan Wyatt, Staff Writer

This year’s Oscars will be remembered for the incredible night that Parasite had, Joaquin Phoenix’s emotional acceptance speech, Janelle Monae’s energetic opening speech, women standing up for women, and Eminem’s out of nowhere “Lose Yourself” performance. Of course, in the near three-and-a-half hour ceremony there was a lot going on. 

Parasite separated itself from the pack with four awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film, and Best Original Screenplay. Bong Joon Ho’s first words on the stage in rough English were, “Great Honor. Thank you,” before turning to his native Korean and allowing his interpreter to relay his immense appreciation of his fellow Best Director nominees Todd Phillips, Sam Mendes, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese, as well as the Academy, the Korean film industry, and all of the supporters of the film. It’s safe to assume he had a pretty fun night, ending his second and third speeches with something along the lines of, “I will be drinking until noon tomorrow.” Parasite is the first non-English film to win Best Picture and even Jane Fonda seemed surprised, opening the envelope with apparent shock before making the announcement. Critics and viewers have heaped praise on the film since it came out and many feel that it’s a worthy win. Some others, however, feel the win was “too political” and perhaps just a way to direct the criticism away from the Academy’s lack of inclusion.

Another headline win was Joaquin Phoenix’s win for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Joker. His speech was one of the more winding ones of the evening. It tackled topics such as the toxicity of the cancel culture in Hollywood, the value of compassion and forgiveness, egocentrism, speciesism, and he capped it off with an emotional tribute to his brother, River: “When my brother was 17, he wrote the lyric: ‘Come to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.'”

1917 also had a big night, winning three awards: Best Cinematography, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. As I wrote in my earlier review of the film, I believe these are all highly deserved. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Jojo Rabbit , and Bombshell all won two awards each as well.