All of the Most Talked About Moments of the 2020 Oscars
Janelle Monáe Speaks Her Mind During Her Outstanding Oscars Opener
The singer kicked off Hollywood's biggest night with an electrifying medley of songs. She started with a rendition of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” from the Tom Hanks film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and then brought the energy alongside Billy Porter as they highlighted all the snubbed films of the year, including Midsommar and Rocketman. Monáe even walked into the crowd and got A-listers Brad Pitt, Hanks, Rita Wilson and Cynthia Erivo to sing along with her.
“Tonight we celebrate all the amazing talent in this room, we celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films,” Monáe said, referring to the fact that there were no female directors nominated this year. “And I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist telling stories.”
“Happy Black History Month,” she added, as she closed out the unforgettable first segment of the night.
Steve Martin and Chris Rock Keep the Night's A-List Audience on Their Toes
The comedic legends got the crowd laughing out loud as they poked fun at some of the biggest stars of the night.
“Oh my God, there’s Brad Pitt,” Martin exclaimed before adding, “It’s like looking in a mirror!”
The two also called out Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who was seated in the audience with his son. “Wow, great actor!” Martin joked.
Rock continued to riff off of Bezos’ status as the wealthiest man in the world, saying, “He’s got cash.”
"When he writes a check, the bank bounce,” he said, as Bezos chuckled in the crowd.
Then the star quipped, “Jeff Bezos is so rich, he got divorced and he’s still the richest man in the world. He saw Marriage Story and thought it was a comedy.”
The duo (unsurprisingly) won over the crowd and proved that the Oscars don't need a host, but if they had to choose — Martin and Rock would be a no-brainer.
Idina Menzel and an Army of Elsas Perform 'Into the Unknown'
As she beautifully belted out the Oscar-nominated song from Frozen II, Menzel was joined by nine other voice actresses who portray Elsa in international markets —Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (Denmark), Willemijn Verkaik (Germany), Takako Matsu (Japan), Carmen Garcia Saenz (Latin America), Lisa Stokke (Norway), Kasia Laska (Poland), Anna Buturlina (Russia), Gisela (Spain) and Gam Wichayanee (Thailand) — who each sang a line from the song in their respective native languages. The overall performance was a stunning example of what a truly inclusive Oscars could look like.
Brad Pitt Wins His First-Ever Acting Oscar
The Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood star won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the film's Cliff Booth, beating out Sir Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes, Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Al Pacino for The Irishman and Joe Pesci for The Irishman.
While on stage, Pitt used his time to thank the cast and crew of the film, and his six children — Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox — whom he shares with ex-wife Angelina Jolie.
“Listen, I’ve been gobsmacked. I’m not one to look back but this has made me do so,” he told the audience. “And I think my folks taking me to the drive in to see Butch and Sundance and loading up my car and moving out here and Geena and Ridley giving me my first shot to all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way to stand here now.”
“Once upon a time in Hollywood, ain’t that’s the truth,” he went on. “And to my kids, who color everything I do, I love you.”
Parasite's Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won Make Oscars History
The duo took home the Best Original Screenplay award for Parasite, beating out Rian Johnson (Knives Out), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood) and Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917).
“Thank you!,” Bong said while accepting the award. “Writing a script is always such a lonely process. We never write to represent our countries. But this is a very first for South Korea.”
“I thank my wife for always being an inspiration to me,” he added. “I thank all the actors for bringing the film to life.”
Han went on to thank his family, as well as the “storytellers and filmmakers” in South Korea.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Camila Morrone Become Awards-Show Official
The 22-year-old model sat next to boyfriend DiCaprio in the front row of the Dolby Theatre. DiCaprio chose a dapper tuxedo for the occasion, while Morrone wore a strapless pale pink chiffon gown with a corset bodice and Tiffany & Co. diamonds.
Although Morrone joined DiCaprio inside the theater, the couple posed separately for photographers on the red carpet.
Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig Sing Everything from 'Thong Song' to 'Vogue'
The comedic duo took the stage to present the awards for Production Design and Costume Design — and brought a ton of laughs in the process.
Before introducing the nominees for the costume category, Rudolph and Wiig decided that the best way to convey all the effort that goes into costuming was with a song.
The musical moment mashed up several songs that refer to clothing, including “Vogue” by Madonna, the “Thong Song” by Sisqo, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra and “U Got the Look” by Prince.
As for the winners, Jacqueline Durran of Little Women took the trophy for Costume Design, and Nancy Haigh and Barbara Ling of Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood won for Production Design.
Chrissy Metz Dedicates Emotional 'I’m Standing with You' Performance to Her Mom
The This Is Us star took the stage to sing her Oscar-nominated ballad (by Diane Warren) from the drama Breakthrough. Metz sparkled in a shimmering navy gown as she sang the powerful ballad with a full chorus echoing background vocals behind her.
“I love you, Mom,” the singer said, getting choked up.
Laura Dern Wins Her First-Ever Oscar
As she held her award on stage, Dern credited her family as her inspiration.
“I would like to say a special thank you to the gifts of the love stories in my life. My stepchildren, CJ and Harris. My heart and inspiration, Ellery, Jaya,” she said. “And you know, some say ‘never meet your heroes’ but I say if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents.”
Wrapping up her speech, the actress, who will turn 53 on Monday, said, “This is the best birthday present ever. I love you. I love my friends, you lift me up every day.”
Eminem Surprises Everyone with 'Lose Yourself' Performance, 18 Years After His Oscar Win
After Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a segment that looked through some of the most iconic Best Original Song winners, everyone was truly surprised when Eminem appeared on stage to perform "Lose Yourself," almost two decades after he won in 2003.
The rapper, at the time, did not choose to attend the ceremony, deciding it “wasn’t his sort of gig,” the Detroit Free Press reported at the time. As a result, Barbra Streisand wound up presenting the golden statuette for “Lose Yourself” to co-writer Luis Resto.
“Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @theacademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here,” Eminem wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip of Resto accepting the award without him.
President Barack Obama-Produced American Factory Wins Best Documentary Feature
“Just being in the presence of our sister and brother documentarians, who risk their lives making stories, bringing stories to us about hospitals being bombed, about Brazil — we are so proud, we are inspired,” Reichert said alongside Steven Bognar.
“Our film is from Ohio and China, but really could be from anywhere where people put on a uniform, punch a clock, trying to make their families have a better life. Working people have it harder and harder these days. We believe things will get better when workers of the world unite,” Reichert added.
In response to American Factory‘s win, the former president tweeted, “Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind American Factory, for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change. Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release.”
The former first lady wrote on Twitter, “Congrats to Julia, Steven, and the whole crew on winning Best Documentary for #AmericanFactory, Higher Ground’s first release! So glad to see their heart and honesty recognized—because the best stories are rarely tidy or perfect. But that’s where the truth so often lies.”
Cynthia Erivo Brings the House Down with Her 'Stand Up' Performance
The Harriet actress blew the audience away with her breathtaking performance of the tune that earned her a Best Original Song nom.
Erivo stunned the audience as she brilliantly sang the lyrics: "That's when I'm gonna stand up / Take my people with me / Together we are going / To a brand new home / Far across the river / Can you hear freedom calling? / Calling me to answer / Gonna keep on keepin' on / I can feel it in my bones"
James Corden and Rebel Wilson Pull Off a Purr-fect Nod to Cats
After the film was slammed by critics and audiences alike, stars Wilson and Corden represented the movie-musical by dressing up as their characters to present the Best Visual Effects award.
The two walked out together as their Cats characters, complete with feline-inspired makeup on their faces, and were met with laughter from the audience.
“As cast members of the motion picture Cats,” Wilson started off, “nobody more than us understands the importance,” Corden continued, before they both finished, “of good visual effects.”
Before announcing the winner, the two hilariously pretended to be cats distracted by the microphone stand, hitting it with their hands multiple times.
Parasite Continues Its Historic Winning Streak Throughout the Night
It's safe to say that Bong Joon Ho and his film Parasite swept the Oscars.
“After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax,” Bong said during his Best Director acceptance speech. “Thank you so much,” he added before also thanking his film inspirations Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Billie Eilish Performs as Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant and More Are Honored During In Memoriam Segment
The Grammy award-winning artist sang a beautiful rendition of “Yesterday” by The Beatles as the Academy honored Kobe Bryant, Rip Torn, Diahann Carrol, Catherine Burns, Danny Aiello, Robert Forster, Machiko Kyo, Anna Karina, Fernando Lujan, Andre Previn, Peter Mayhew, Silvia Miles, Godfrey Gao, Doris Day, Seymour Cassel, Peter Fonda, John Singleton and Kirk Douglas — who died on Wednesday at the age of 103.
However, those who were noticeably missing from the tribute included Luke Perry — who starred in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood and passed away in March 2019 — and — Cameron Boyce, who was predominantly a television action but had a number of film credits to his name. Boyce died in July at the age of 20.
Joaquin Phoenix Recites Late Brother River's Song Lyrics During His Best Actor Acceptance Speech
The star won for his role in Joker, beating out Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, Adam Driver for Marriage Story, Jonathan Pryce for The Two Popes and Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.
While accepting his award on stage, Phoenix touched on the “distressing issues” that the world is facing, but said that he sees them as more of a unifying factor than a dividing one, and urged everyone to live with love and compassion.
To make his point, Phoenix recited a lyric written by his late brother, River, who died from a drug overdose at 23 years old in October of 1993 outside of the iconic Viper Room in Los Angeles.
“I’ve been a scoundrel all my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance,” he told the audience. “And I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.”
“When he was when he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric,” he went on. “He said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.'”
Renée Zellweger Thanks Her Immigrant Parents in Best Actress Oscars Speech
The actress won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film Judy — winning over Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan in Little Women, Charlize Theron in Bombshell and Cynthia Erivo in Harriet.
Zellweger gave an acceptance speech paying tribute to her parents, father Emil Erich Zellweger and mother Kjellfrid Irene Zellweger.
“[Thank you to] my immigrant folks who came here with nothing but each other and the American Dream,” she said, holding up the Oscar and adding, “How ’bout this?”
The actress also thanked her “big brother, Drew” and turned her speech toward Judy Garland, who never won an Oscar.
“I have to say that this past year of conversation celebrating Judy Garland across generations and across cultures has been a really cool reminder that it’s our heroes that unite us now,” she said. “The best among us who inspire us to find the best in ourselves. You know when they unite us when we look to our heroes we agree and that matters.”
Parasite Wins Best Picture and Makes History — Again!
The South Korean film took home the top prize of the night, making it the first non-English speaking film to win Best Picture.
“We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy,” producer Kwak Sin Ae said through a translator. “I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now.”
She continued, “I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all members of the Academy for making this decision.”
As Kwak stepped away from the microphone to let executive producer Miky Lee speak, the stage lights began to dim and cameras cut to Jane Fonda, who was the presenter for the award. Shocked by the way the cast was cut off from their moment on stage, the audience enthusiastically started chanting “Up! Up!” to get Academy producers to turn the lights and mic back on and let Lee finish her acceptance speech.
“I like everything about him. His smile, his crazy hair. The way he talks, the way he walks, especially the way he directs,” she said. “And what I really like about him is his sense of humor. And the fact is he can be really making fun of himself, and he never takes himself seriously. Thank you.”
Lee — a media mogul who owns a $4.1 billion entertainment empire — also thanked “everybody who’s been supporting Parasite” and her brother for “always supporting our building our dreams — even when it looked [like an] impossible dream.”
She added, “I really, really want to thank our Korean film audience: our moviegoers who’s been really supporting all our movies and never hesitated to give us straight-forward opinion on what they feel like their movies.”
Parasite won a total of four Oscars on Sunday, including Best Original Screenplay.
The critically acclaimed movie also took home the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture last month, as well as the Golden Globe for best motion picture - foreign language.