First, here's the full list of winners last night:
Best Picture: Parasite
Best Director: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Best Actress: Renée Zellweger, Judy
Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 4
Best Cinematography: 1917
Best Costume Design: Little Women
Best Documentary Feature: American Factory
Best Documentary Short: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)
Best Film Editing: Ford v Ferrari
Best International Film: South Korea, Parasite
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Bombshell
Best Music (Original Score): Joker
Best Music (Original Song): (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again, Rocketman
Best Production Design: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Best Short Film (Animation): Hair Love
Best Short Film (Live Action): The Neighbor's Window
Best Sound Editing: Ford v Ferrari
Best Sound Mixing: 1917
Best Visual Effects: 1917
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Jojo Rabbit
Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Parasite
I also do not believe the Best Supporting Actor race went as well as it could have, Brad Pitt was the weakest of the competition. Nothing about his role seemed particularly challenging to play compared to the other four, and it also wasn't as challenging compared to other roles he's played in general. Now, it was still a good performance, but he was not better than Tom Hanks replicating all the little quirks of Mister Rogers, or Al Pacino and Joe Pesci giving their all as a heartless politician and mobster respectively, or Anthony Hopkins embodying the delicacy of the Pope. It seems that Brad won purely off of popularity.
Now, for everything else, it all turned out well, the seven categories I predicted wrong actually ended up going to movies I didn't mind at all winning. One of them in fact I was glad I got wrong! When Bong Joon-ho won the Oscar for Best Director, I was so thrilled to see the one who genuinely deserved it take the prize! In fact, I loved seeing every time Parasite won something, because Joon-ho was just so heartfelt and genuine with each win, he really seems like the nicest guy, and someone who cares so much about the cinematic arts.
For the ceremony itself, I'd say it was another success that proved how much better off the Academy is without a host! I was won over the instant Janelle Monáe came out as Mister Rogers, especially when the opening number allowed representation of other deserving films that should have been nominated but weren't (Midsommar and Us for instance). The other actors who appeared for critically acclaimed films not nominated tonight was also a great addition, including Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever from Booksmart, and Shia Labeouf and Zack Gottsagen from The Peanut Butter Falcon. The Academy really is starting to clean up their act by acknowledging ALL the films that deserve recognition in some way. As a plus, got to love Rebel Wilson and James Corden making fun of themselves with their cat costumes... I couldn't stop laughing when they were swatting at the mike!
So, after last year's disastrous Green Book win, I'm glad to say that this milestone win can restore a bit of faith in the filmmaking industry. For the decade of the 2020s, the first ever foreign language film to win Best Picture should open up audiences and American filmmakers alike to how remarkable international cinema really is, and should guarantee stronger diversity within the casts of these films and what the Academy is willing to represent. Looking forward to the next ceremony!