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This Year’s Oscars Is A Wonderful Testament To The Magic Of Movies

The night’s top winner, "Parasite," is a fan-, critic-, and awards season-favorite, and we couldn’t be happier

In the Academy Awards’ 92-year history (and 64 years since the Best International Feature Film category was created), no foreign language film had won the ceremony’s most coveted award, Best Picture. The two categories had always been separate. At the Golden Globes last month, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho said it best when he said, “I think we use only one language: the cinema,” and today, that point was made increasingly clear.

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When you make history. #Oscars

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For the first time in Oscar history, an international feature had taken home the Best Picture award. Despite being a clear front-runner, with Parasite topping many a critics’ prediction lists to win the highest honor of the night, watching the producers, cast, and crew of the film go up the stage at the Dolby Theater in California was still such a thrilling sight, much like the beautiful little moment that Bong Joon-ho took to gaze lovingly at his Oscar

The night’s energy was definitely dwindling halfway through the show, but after Jane Fonda sauntered out to present the nominees for Best Picture (clutching her signature Fire Drill Fridays jacket, no less) and award it to Parasite moments later, the mood just absolutely shot up, giving rise to a bevy of memes.

“I’m speechless. We never imagined this to ever happen, we’re so happy,” said producer Kwak Sin Ae. “I feel like [this is] a very opportune moment in history that is happening right now. I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all the members of the Academy for making this decision.”

The acting winners—Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Laura Dern for Marriage Story, Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, and Renée Zellweger for Judy—were obvious from the very start, but that doesn’t mean their victory is any less important. In Renée’s speech, she mentioned Judy Garland’s Oscar loss in 1955, when the Best Actress award went to Grace Kelly for The Country Girl. Joaquin honored his brother, River. Laura dedicated her win to her “acting heroes”—her parents, Bruce Dern and a teary-eyed, suited-up Diane Ladd.

There were Adele Dazeem jokes, as to be expected in the year that Idina Menzel returns to perform at the Oscars, and the “Into the Unknown” songstress also made for a great reaction GIF. The show’s other performers⁠—Cynthia Erivo, Chrissy Metz, and Billie Eilish⁠—were resplendent.

Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Best Original Score win for Joker leaves her one Tony shy from EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status and makes her the first woman to win the award. In her speech, she ended with a wonderful dedication: “To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices.”

The Oscars is by no means perfect, and it still has a long way to go. The award-giving body is criticized almost yearly for failing to recognize female filmmakers and more non-white nominees, but it’s always important to celebrate what needs to be celebrated. Today, that means Parasite’s historic win and all the dreams that came true.

Lead photos from @theacademy