From the La La Land/Moonlight debacle to Olivia Coleman’s ever charming Best Actress speech, the Academy Awards bring some of pop culture’s biggest moments every year. And with no host, the 92nd Academy Awards was no different. While there weren’t many major upsets, Sunday night’s show still gave us lots to talk about.
How about the illustrious Janelle Monae?
Janelle Monae opened the broadcast with a showstopping musical number, coming out in a Mister Rogers-inspired intro, before a bedazzling showcase of various movie inspired dancers and a guest appearance from the always fashionable Billy Porter. She also, importantly, called out the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
The duo that should have hosted the Oscars is…
Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s very bizarre presentation of the Best Production Design and Best Costume Design awards was entertaining enough that maybe they should have just hosted the whole thing? Their presentation spiel featured everything from fiery acting, to a medley of songs about fashion (that Billie Eilish in all her Gen Z glory did not seem to understand) and they injected the show with some always-needed chaotic energy.
And rap interludes (some better than others)
Literally no one asked for an Eminem performance, but we got one anyway. Some highlights include the camera panning through the audience to a very confused Martin Scorsese, and a good 10% of the lyrics getting bleeped out. The movie “8 Mile” came out in 2002, so it’s not celebrating any major milestones and Eminem hasn’t done anything notable recently (except for the lyric “mom’s spaghetti” becoming a meme), so uhhh, yeah, we don’t know what that was about. Eminem somehow still got a standing ovation despite the sheer confusion.
However, he was arguably upstaged by Utkarsh Ambudkar, whose rap recap of the year’s movie highlights uncannily included many of the eventual Oscars winners…. which led some to wonder if he’d been fed the winners list beforehand? Ambudkar, who’s best known for his role in “Pitch Perfect,” mentioned Brad Pitt’s best supporting actor win, and gave a shout out to “Hair Love” which won Best Animated Short Film. (For what it’s worth, his representatives say he got lucky and guessed correctly.) Either way, Ambudkar’s performance came across as creative, original and timely. Sorry, Eminem, but we think this is one rap battle you didn’t win.
No one got played off stage during acceptance speeches, but Joaquin and Renée probably came close…
Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger won Best Actor and Best Actress and then both proceeded to unofficially win Most Rambly. Zellweger thanked everyone from her parents to first responders to Fred Rogers and Harriet Tubman. And Phoenix spent time alluding to veganism, although ended with a touching emotional quip about his late brother, River. But overall both acceptance speeches felt long, drawn out, nonsensical and aimless. They should’ve taken some notes from our movie critic Moira Macdonald.
Best Moment of the Oscars goes to… “Parasite,” of course!
But at the end of the night, this was all about “Parasite.” The South Korean movie swept Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director and Best Picture. Aside from being the first non-English language film to win Best Picture — in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards — the movie’s wins delivered some of the night’s most memorable moments. Director and screenwriter Bong Joon-ho won everyone’s hearts with his quips, “After we won international film, I thought we were done for the night,” and “I’m ready to start drinking tonight” along with his joyful giggling at his first statue of the evening (Original Screenplay).
And after winning Best Picture, the audience enthusiastically encouraged the cast and crew of “Parasite” on stage to let their acceptance speech last a few minutes longer. #BongHive, you’ve done it, folks. This is Bong Joon-ho’s world and we’re all just living in it.