The 2020 Oscars went according to plan…until it didn’t. Parasite shocked just about everyone with four wins, including Best Director and Picture, while stealing the night away from 1917. It was truly a momentous group of victories which may ultimately lead to greater change down the road for The Academy.
Members of the MovieBabble staff break down some of the more noteworthy parts of the telecast in our 2020 Oscars Exit Survey.
Describe your overall enjoyment of the telecast with an appropriate GIF.
How did you feel about Parasite taking home Best Picture?
Alessandro Louly: Yes!!! After Green Book somehow claiming the top spot last year over films like Roma and BlacKkKlansman, justice needed to be served. I am so excited that Korean films are finally being recognized by the Academy but the very fact that Parasite won so many awards is monumental! It’s the first Non-English film to win Best Picture. How did it take this long??
Ashvin Sivakumar: Awesome! Not just a historic win, but a win that means so much for diversity in Hollywood… A foreign film winning Best Picture has so many beautiful and hopeful implications for the future of the Academy Awards, and for the future landscape of cinema, especially in America.
Patricia Henderson: I was genuinely shocked, and then very happy to be a witness to history being made. It was an incredible moment.
Aubrey McKay: It’s the right film to win. Whether it’s a merit-based choice or a reflection of the times, this is the right choice. I feel content, satisfied, and encouraged.
Going into the night, what film did you think was going to take home Best Picture?
Sandra Reid: While I was rooting for Parasite, I genuinely thought Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would get it. The Academy is self-congratulatory to a fault and something honoring old Hollywood with enough subversion to convince people it’s “woke” seemed like a sure bet.
Alessandro Louly: I thought it was either 1917 or Once Upon a Time In Hollywood‘s year since those films are packed with two things the Academy adores. War and reflections on Hollywood nostalgia. I never would have thought Parasite would ever win, let alone all the awards it ended up winning. Like BongJoon-ho I thought the “1-inch barrier” of subtitles would drive voters and viewers away. I cannot count how many people are immediately discouraged to watch a film I recommend simply because they have to “read”.
Sebastian Sanzberro: 1917, because it had “Oscar Bait” stamped all over it. Kind of glad it lost because I love surprises, and I feel like we’ve seen movies like 1917 win all too often.
Brennan Dubé: On the Oscar predictions podcast I slotted in 1917 to be safe, however, a day before the show when I made my ballot I went with Parasite. Now a lot of that was wishful thinking! I figured they might split it, with director 100% going to Mendes (another Bong upset!) and picture potentially going Parasite. That helped my ballot big time!
Ashvin Sivakumar: I thought 1917 would win, purely based on their strong run pre-Oscars, dominating most of the other awards shows asides from SAGs…
Patricia Henderson: I was thinking it would be 1917 because Oscar loves war/wartime movies. However, as the telecast went on, I started to think it was possible Parasite could take it. I was still quite surprised it did.
Lance Heard: Parasite because it was better than all the others in key areas: screenplay, direction, acting, combined with a compelling theater experience that connected cinema of the past with cinema of the present, from Hitchcock to Scorsese.
Aubrey McKay: I thought 1917 was going to win but I certainly wasn’t counting Parasite out.
How did you do on your Oscars ballot (if you had one)?
Sandra Reid: It was going well with 1917 and Ford vs Ferrari getting technical acclaim and our lady Laura Dern getting an Oscar. Then Elton John won over Cynthia Erivo and my ballot got all messed up.
Alessandro Louly: The acting awards were pretty easy to predict. Everything else completely messed with my predictions. The only other award I predicted correctly was Bong Joon-ho winning Best Director. I was hopeful. Thankfully, I was right.
Sebastian Sanzberro: Didn’t have one, but I would’ve only had about a handful correct, anyway. Truth is, I haven’t seen most of the nominees this year but after decades of Oscar-watching it becomes like watching a horse race; you don’t have to ride the horse yourself to get a feel for the winners…and sometimes you bet big and still lose.
Collin Willis: I didn’t have an Oscars’ ballot, but I was happy with everything that won so I’m going to say that my Oscar’s Ballot won.
Brennan Dubé: 19/24, splitting the sound categories and giving Parasite Best Picture helped me. Plus, I did well randomly predicting those shorts.
Ashvin Sivakumar: I think I hit well with the acting categories for sure, and some of the technicals, like the sound mixing and cinematography. I obviously didn’t predict Best Picture and Best Director to go to Parasite, which was a welcome surprise.
Patricia Henderson: Hit and miss, as per usual. I’ve never been all that great at predicting these things. Basically, I nailed the categories that were kind of a given (Best Actor and Actress, for instance).
Lance Heard: A crisp 55%.
Aubrey McKay: 19 out of 24 right, which is pretty good but it could’ve been better.
Two years without a host: loving it or hating it, or somewhere in between?
Sandra Reid: I honestly would rather have one person with a solid team behind them leading the event than 20 individual skits that had to be approved by the Academy, the presenters, and their representation. It feels like the difference between one messy but whole pancake and one demolished by different fillings and toppings.
Alessandro Louly: It was fine. I enjoyed Chris Rock and Steve Martin’s opening monologue. They should just do that every year and not have a host. It takes so much time out of the show for shenanigans like Kimmel’s weird audience screening of A Wrinkle in Time or Ellen ordering pizza. Just keep it simple.
Sebastian Sanzberro: I’m usually fine with new ideas, but I miss a host. When Steve Martin and Chris Rock showed up, I was half-hoping that they were going to be ‘surprise unannounced hosts’ and that perhaps surprise-hosts would be the new thing. Oh, that is, if Billie Eilish approves, of course…
Collin Willis: I think relying on a variety of different celebrities really works and keeps the pace moving a little quicker than it does with a single host.
Brennan Dubé: Honestly somewhere in between, last year was fantastic without one… this year was good too and the show felt quick (it was also fun to see all the different celebs come out), but things could definitely be done a little differently. We don’t need 3 people to introduce each other. Let’s just get to the point!
Ashvin Sivakumar: Somewhere in between. I was one of the few who loved the hosts, especially Kimmel the year before they stopped using a host. While last year’s ceremony felt dry and desolate without a host, this year’s ceremony felt fresh with guest presenters, as well as steadily moving through its hefty runtime.
Patricia Henderson: Last year, it felt awkward and kind of dull. This year, I think they nailed it. I really liked hearing from different people throughout the night, especially the lesser-known/lesser-
Aubrey McKay: I think it works for now. The novelty of it hasn’t worn off yet but I don’t think it’s a long term solution. I enjoyed this show very much so it’s working for now but I think a host will be back sooner than later.
Are you a fan of the shortened Oscars season, or do you wish we had that extra 2-3 weeks to let things play out?
Sandra Reid: Absolutely! If it were up to me the awards season would be a one-week gladiatorial tournament of ass-kissing and kicking. Then take whatever money would have been seen in marketing and give it straight to obscure filmmakers to get some more flavor in this cinematic skillet.
Alessandro Louly: The Oscar season needs to be at least 2-3 weeks longer. There are so many films that all release in the same timeframe, which doesn’t give Academy voters enough time to watch all of them and vote properly. Luckily this year, most of the Oscar films released saw wide-releases around October-November as opposed to the usual December-January timeframe.
Sebastian Sanzberro: I would’ve loved an extra two weeks to catch up on the nominees. I was (and still am) waaaaayyyy behind this year.
Collin Willis: I like it, I think it keeps the momentum going for each of these movies, though I’m sure the studios would prefer a little extra hype time to earn those bonus Oscar box office returns.
Brennan Dubé: Despite all the bickering I find awards season pretty fun. I would’ve liked to see it go a few more weeks. Plus, for many average moviegoers, the shortened season shocked many, and I’m sure some people didn’t realize the Oscars were even happening until the day or weekend of. Push it back a couple of weeks like usual and let the audience go see all the Best Picture nominees!
Ashvin Sivakumar: Yes, and no. Yes, because it feels so much more contained and it ends more quickly, but no, because it feels so time-constrained and jammed up within such a short period that it feels overstuffed and packed. The shortened season definitely takes a toll on journalists and celebs involved in doing coverage of and taking part in the shortened Oscar awards season.
Patricia Henderson: I liked it. I’m more of an instant gratification kind of gal, I suppose. Not a big fan of suspense.
Aubrey McKay: No, I like a longer season so there is more time to spend with the nominated movies. The fun of the season is the speculation and conversations around the races. More time means more time with each movie and I missed that this year.
What was your favorite non-Parasite-wins-Best-Picture moment of the night?
Sandra Reid: Assuming it’s not cheating to include a different Bong Joon-ho win, the interaction with Scorsese during the Best Directing speech was just wholesome. Seeing two masters of their craft truly appreciate each other and realize the other’s significance was truly astounding.
Alessandro Louly: Bong Joon-ho thanking both Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino was such a heartwarming moment. Joon-ho deserves all the awards! I really enjoyed this year’s Academy Awards compared to last year’s. Heck, I laughed at something James Corden did, which is a first.
Sebastian Sanzberro: Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Yes, it wasn’t a traditional Oscar-grabbing performance, and Pitt still looks ridiculously good without a shirt, but Pitt’s Cliff Booth was, in many ways, the kind of charisma-laden performance that highlights exactly what great actors do; bringing that extra star power wattage to a scene or screenplay that makes it come alive in ways the writer/director/audience didn’t anticipate.
Collin Willis: This moment:
Brennan Dubé: This is sort of Parasite related but, I loved it when Bong Joon-ho shouted out the other four directors during his best director speech. Especially the one towards Marty — it was so sweet. Scorsese’s reaction was priceless too. So wholesome!
Ashvin Sivakumar: Brad Pitt! Best Supporting Actor! For Cliff Booth from Once Upon a Time In Hollywood! How awesome is that! Brad is one of my favorite actors, especially as of late, with decade best performances like Roy McBride in Ad Astra, and Cliff just might be one of his most lovable and coolest characters, so to see Pitt finally win an Academy Award for acting — after all these years that he’s deserved it — just feels so right and so timely, especially for a character he shares the same chill aura with. I love this for Brad Pitt!
Patricia Henderson: Honestly, the musical performances were quite entertaining this year! Usually, I kind of sit there thinking, “let’s get on with the awards,” but this time they were a lot of fun.
Lance Heard: Maya Rudolph and Kirsten Wiig!
Aubrey McKay: Taika for adapted screenplay was my favorite none Parasite win. I love that film and I think the degree of difficulty was so high with that adaptation that it is well-deserved. It’s a thin line that Jojo Rabbit walks and I think he does so perfectly with some beautiful writing. Also, Taika is awesome and I love him so I’m happy to see him win!
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