Film News: ‘Parasite’ Makes History at 92nd Academy Awards

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CHICAGO – In a surprising sweep, the South Korean film “Parasite” – created through the vision of director Bong Joon Ho – won all the major creative categories, including Best Original Screenplay and Director, as well as securing Best International Film and making Oscar history as the first non-English-speaking Best Picture.

The Oscar ceremony, which took place on February 9th, 2020, seemed to anticipate this diverse international and generational shift, going without a host for the second year in a row and injecting some youthful “stars of the future” into the show as performers and category “introducers.” The sizzling music star Janelle Monáe kicked off the show with a dazzling opening number, and that energy uplifted the entire show, including the award presentations. Presenters Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph did a hilarious “acting” audition during there turn on stage, also James Corden and Rebel Wilson came out in their costumes from the infamous 2019 bomb, “Cats.”

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’Parasite’ was the Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards
Photo credit: Neon

Best Picture winner “Parasite” is the story of a down-and-out family in urban South Korea who land jobs with a wealthy family, mostly through conning them. When a former housekeeper comes back and threatens to expose them, a shift takes place in the film which takes it into darker territory. The film built momentum during the awards season – including the Best Picture nod from the Chicago Film Critics Association – and the Academy Awards were the icing on their recognition cake. It is the first South Korean film winner in Oscar history, to go along with their status as the first non-English-speaking Best Picture.

The major acting Oscars went to the performers who had been sweeping earlier award results. Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”) and Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time In … Hollywood”) took home trophies in the Supporting category, and Renée Zellweger (“Judy) and Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) were the Best Actress and Actor. Early Best Picture favorite “1917” was given technical prizes and a second Oscar for cinematographer Roger Deakins. The quirky “Jojo Rabbit” surprised by taking the Best Adapted Screenplay prize.

The show and the Academy itself seemed aware of the criticism due to a lack of diversity within the nominees, and presented a unique look at a Best Song nominee – “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II” – by having the singing voice of the character Elsa, Idina Menzel, joined by actresses who had translated the Elsa character in other countries. One of the more unconventional performances was “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, who topped off a tribute to songs that are identified with their films … the song won Best in 2003 for “8 Mile” without Eminem present, and the performance brought him full circle. Also, Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin won their first Oscar for the song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman.”

The full list of winners for the 92nd Academy Awards are as follows.

BEST PICTURE
“Parasite”

BEST ACTOR
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

BEST ACTRESS
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

DIRECTING
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“Toy Story 4”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Jojo Rabbit”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Parasite”

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Best Actress Awardee Renée Zellweger as ‘Judy’
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“American Factory”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"Parasite"

ORIGINAL SONG
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”

ORIGINAL SCORE
"Joker"

ANIMATED SHORT
“Hair Love"

LIVE ACTION SHORT
“The Neighbor’s Window”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You’re a Girl)”

FILM EDITING
“Ford vs. Ferrari”

SOUND EDITING
“Ford v Ferrari”

SOUND MIXING
“1917”

PRODUCTION DESIGN
“Once Upon a Time In … Hollywood”

VISUAL EFFECTS
“1917”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“1917”

MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLING
“Bombshell”

COSTUME DESIGN
“Little Women”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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