In the end, Parasite, the little South Korean film that could, ruled the day. It took home four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, and surprise, surprise, Best Director for Bong Joon Ho.
Everyone knew it would take home Best International Feature. And as we inched closer to the night of the Oscars, more markers were showing for the Screenplay win (shortly before the Oscars, it won the Original Screenplay award at the Writer’s Guild of America ceremony, as well as at the Baftas (British film awards)). Since it was gaining momentum, Best Picture was becoming more and more a possibility and less of a pipe dream. But, Best Director? Over Sam Mendes and his “one take” wonder of 1917?
Personally, I thought the Academy might divide here…giving Best Picture to Parasite and Best Director to Mendes, very a kin to what they have done many times before….honor a more visually stunning, risk-taking film with the Best Director award, while bestowing a more conventional choice Best Picture. Look at last years’ split of Green Book as Best Picture and Roma‘s director Alfonso Cuaron winning Best Director. Or in 2017 when Damien Chazelle won for directing La La Land, but Moonlight won for Picture. But, this year, Parasite is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the conventional choice. It’s dark and brooding and creepy and nuanced. And subtitled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, by selecting Parasite, the Academy finally broke the spell of excellent foreign films overlooked for Best Picture, as was Roma last year.
Aside from the Parasite coups, the other major awards were pretty much rote…based on other award wins and predictions. But, that does not mean it still was not fun watching Brad Pitt accept his first acting Oscar. Or to watch first time winner Taika Waititi accept his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Both, in my opinion, were some of the evening’s highlights. That, and poor Bong Joon Ho, making desperate pleas, in his non-native English, for well-deserved drinks after each of his four wins. Hopefully, he was able to get his cocktail eventually…. It was certainly well-deserved!
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE