A recap of the 2020 Oscars results
Last Sunday television screens worldwide were graced with the annual Oscars award show and another historic night for films. In a year with some particularly good nominations, let’s dive in to look at the winners and if the academy made the right call of not.
First I will be covering the biggest story coming out of the award show, Bong Joon Ho and his film Parasite cleaning up the competition. Parasite won awards for best original screenplay, best international film, best picture and Ho himself picked up a fourth trophy, winning best director.
Of all of the films nominated for best picture, it is of my opinion that the academy hit the nail on the head giving the win to Parasite. Had Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse been nominated then I likely would’ve given my vote to that film, but that shouldn’t take anything away from Ho’s masterpiece.
As for the other best picture competition, there were some worthy contenders. Marriage Story was a great watch carried by Scarlett Johannson and Adam Driver, Once upon in Hollywood was classic Tarantino fun that separates itself from the rest of his filmography and The Irishman was three hours that flew by thanks to excellent performance and Scorsese meeting that high bar he’s set for himself with his other films.
Still, Parasite to me is clearly the best of them all. For those who are unaware, Parasite is a South Korean film that presents a poor family helping each other to get hired by a very rich family unaware that the poor family is all related. Things take a dark turn however presenting great challenges that the poor family must overcome.
It’s a film full of surprises, comedic elements, and all-star quality shot composition. Even if you don’t typically dabble with foreign films, this is still likely one you’ll enjoy. If you’d rather ease into foreign films more gradually, I’d recommend watching another Bong Joon Ho film, Okja, it’s on Netflix and has dialogue in both English and Korean (plus it’s another great film).
I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss my thoughts on one of the most talked-about movies going into the ceremony; 1917. This film was nominated ten times including best picture. Personally, I wasn’t upset that it was nominated for best picture as it certainly was a good movie, however, if it won over the films I mentioned before I’d question the academy’s decision.
I only bring up 1917 in particular due to the insane amount of publicity there was for the film heading into the Oscars. The film is best known for its use of the long take and the overall well-done cinematography this film accomplished. I truly believe that it’s win for best cinematography was well deserved.
The other thing that struck me watching the film was the production design which I thought was very good, seeing it nominated for best production design felt right. However, after these accomplishments, I fail to see the major appeal.
The acting is fine but nothing special, the story is pretty generic (the fact that it was nominated for best original screenplay is hilarious to me) and if we’re really diving in, it’s pretty obvious whenever they cut the one takes. Overall while this film is good, the Oscars and it’s fans really overhyped the film in my opinion.
In terms of the other awards; Joaquin Phoenix definitely deserved best actor, he is the reason Joker was a smash hit and is by far the best thing about that movie. I was unable to watch Judy so I’m unqualified to discuss Renee Zellweger’s performance for best actress.
For actor in a supporting role, I thought Brad Pitt was a good choice however I would’ve personally gone with Al Pacino as he was fantastic in The Irishman. Laura Dern was another choice I agree with, she played her role to perfection in Marriage Story.
One award that doesn’t sit right with me is the animated film category; Toy Story 4 was nothing special in my opinion and very easily forgettable, I believe the award should’ve instead gone to I Lost My Body, it’s a wonderfully unique French animation and I highly recommend you check it out on Netflix. I was glad to see Taika Waititi get an award for best adapted screenplay, he’s one of my favourite directors and while the movie nominated, Jojo Rabbit isn’t my favourite of his, I still enjoyed it and am excited to see more of his films for many years to come.
Overall this was a good year for the Oscars and for movies in general. The best picture category especially had several films that were best picture worthy. The exposure of Parasite makes me very happy, I’m hoping that more people will check out more Korean movies and more international films in general.
Many of my favourite films weren’t made on North American soil, it would be amazing if after this award ceremony people explore new film horizons from places they never thought to look.