In Photos: The 2020 Oscars' Best Moments, Big Winners, And Most Touching Tributes
The 92nd Academy Awards was more than a ceremony honoring talents in film—see what else the event had in store and the special meanings behind some of the moments you might have missed!
There's more to the Academy Awards than the little gold statuette winners collect and bring home; there's often hidden meaning behind the fashion, deeper messages behind films, and important points made onstage by presenters and winners alike.
If you're not careful, you might miss them!
We've certainly exercised a great deal of keen observation and symbol interpretation since Hollywood had transformed its biggest events into stages for relevant issues, stories, and advocacies to be told, and over the years, we've discovered more and more of them worth sharing.
Below is a quick round-up of some of the most beautiful messages we spotted at the 2020 Oscars, and we hope you find them just as inspiring and uplifting as we did!
Taika Waititi wins for indigenous kids
His name isn't just interesting for the sake of it; he's of Maori descent from his father's side, and he's embraced this heritage through and through in his work as a Hollywood filmmaker. In his acceptance speech for winning Best Adapted Screenplay for "Jojo Rabbit," he encouraged more young talents with indigenous roots to keep on going because it certainly is possible to make it.
Shia LaBeouf brings a friend
And it wasn't just any other friend. He brought Zack Gottsagen with him, who happens to be his co-star in "The Peanut Butter Falcon." The pair presented an award onstage and it was a lovely move towards more representation of individuals with special needs (Zack was born with Down Syndrome) in Hollywood, and presenting them in a much more positive light.
Brad Pitt wins an Oscar
With close to 100 acting credits under his name, would you believe that this is Brad Pitt's first-ever Oscar win for himself? (He did win an Oscar in 2014 for "12 Years A Slave," but that was shared with his co-stars). Congratulations to the Hollywood legend for earning the accolade he so deserved!
"Toy Story 4" wins hearts over...
...And bagged the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture, too! It seems that audiences and critics alike still adore the story that debuted in 1996 and have followed the journey of its characters that's spanned decades, and generations.
America Ferrera accessorizes with purpose
That's not just any headpiece; that's actually a tribute to her Honduran heritage. According to the actress herself, it's a nod to the proud and powerful warriors of the indigenous Lenca tribe from the Honduras. How awesome is that?
"Parasite" doesn't lose steam and wins at the Oscars
The South Korean movie was recognized with the award for Best Original Screenplay and when its director and writer Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin Woo went onstage to receive the award, the applause was absolutely satisfying. It's the first time a foreign film—especially an Asian film with an Asian director and cast—has received this much attention in Hollywood awards history.
Martin Scorsese gets an awesome shoutout
"Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho didn't hold back when he talked about how iconic director Martin Scorcese was his ultimate inspiration as a film student. He talked about studying his films, and even quoted the American director in one of his acceptance speeches, much to the delight of everyone in the room. "The great Martin Scorcese," he was called. What an honor it must have been for the South Korean director who once looked up to Martin, eventually be nominated alongside him, and what's more, win over him for the Best Director award.
Mindy Kaling + BJ Novak = ?
Now this sight for sore eyes shouldn't require much explanation, but for the uninitiated, these two starred alongside each other in the American remake of "The Office" and became the show's iconic on and off couple! They're a pop culture fixture for series junkies, and if you've yet to find out why, give "The Office" a try and it'll be easy to see why spotting them together at a Hollywood red carpet is especially heartwarming. Yay for co-star reunions like this!
Natalie Portman's low-key feminist message
Look closely and see the gold details on the right side of Natalie's coat; they're not just regular embroidered details, but are actually the names of female directors who made amazing films in 2019 but were sadly snubbed at the Oscars. The fact that the 92nd Academy Awards were very male-centric earned a lot of ire from the public, and this is Natalie's way of giving these film-making women the attention they deserve.
Laura Dern wins her first Oscar
Congratulations to the veteran actress. Finally, the underrated Hollywood star has finally bagged her first Academy Award, and it was for her role as a formidable lawyer in drama "Marriage Story," She's been nominated thrice before and has starred in many other films and television shows that put her best to the test, but "Marriage Story" was definitely a great way to finally make her an Oscar winner. Additionally, she also brought her family as her date to the show, and it was her birthday, too!
It was a family affair for Keanu, too
Surprise! Keanu Reeves, who earned the nickname of "the Internet's boyfriend" in 2019, showed up at the Oscars red carpet with very lovely, but unexpected date: his mom, singer Patricia Taylor.
The return of Eminem
Lose yourself! At least, to the music. Oscar-winner Eminem was back on the Academy stage to perform "Lose Yourself," the song from movie "8 Mile" that won Best Original Song 17 years ago. While most people expect ballads and generally more traditional performances to entertain Academy guests, this electric rap performance proved to be just what the room needed and was nothing but amazing. We're happy to see more variety at the Oscars, even in its musical performances!
"Hair Love" and Black representation
Speaking of representation, it's not only the indigenous kids that benefit from it; African-Americans have long struggled to find relatable stories, characters, and stories in Hollywood that speak of their culture and unique experiences as a people, and this little animated short whose premise was simple enough spoke volumes about seeing onself represented in the media can truly make a world of a difference. "Hair Love," an animated short film about an African-American dad and his daughter, will warm hearts, regardless of race, gender, social background, and other differences.
Cynthia Erivo nails her black history month tribute
Everyone knows to expect only the best when Cynthia takes the stage, but at the Oscars, she totally outdid herself. She performed "Stand Up" from her film "Harriett" where she played the titular character, and incorporated a lively Gospel choir throughout the number. At the end of the song, a photo of the real-life Harriett Tubman (a legendary political activist who led thousands of African-Americans escape slavery with the use of the Underground Railroad) was flashed above the stage to drive the point home. February is Black History Month, which made this tribute all the more impactful.
Rebel Wilson and James Corden as cats
There are a few things funnier than Hollywood personalities knowing how to poke fun at themselves. Presenting, "Cats" co-stars Rebel Wilson and James Corden, who, you guessed it, dressed up as cats as they presented an award and talked about the importance of great visual effects in film. ("Cats" was repeatedly mocked for its weird take on anthropomorphic cats, and this is them acknowledging that!).
Brie Larson, Sigrourney Weaver, and Gal Gadot stand up for girl power
They're likely the Powerpuff Girls in real life! The beautiful trio went up onstage to present an award, but before that, emphasized the need for gender equality in Hollywood (and in other industries, at that!). Gal Gadot even made a tongue in cheek joke about the losers of the night being faced with the consequence of answering journalists' questions of what it feels like to be a woman in Hollywood. These three up there making a feminist point was such a mood for women all over the world!
Kobe was at the Oscars thanks to Spike Lee
In case you didn't know, Kobe Bryant wasn't just a great athlete, he was an Oscar-winner, too! And as a tribute to this legacy, director Spike Lee wore a custom Gucci suit in the colors of the LA Lakers signature purple and gold, which also featured # 24 patches, which was Kobe's jersey number.
Billie Eillish's soulful singing
The Grammy-award winning adolescent singer pulled at heart strings with her rendition of The Beatles' "Yesterday" that played as a video montage of the film industry's personalities who have passed away shown overhead. It was a change from her usual upbeat, wildly crazy performances and showed a different side to her deep well of talent.
Joaquin Phoenix si awarded Best Actor
No one was surprised when the Oscar for Best Actor was given to Joaquin Phoenix for his portrayal of the world's most famous superhero villain, The Joker. What was more surprising, however, was the heart that the otherwise quiet, low-key actor put into his acceptance speech. He spent his time talking about his love of film, wanting to share the award with fellow nominees, humanity's common fight against injustice, and his lifelong advocacy for animal rights.
Hildur Guðnadóttir sends a message to empower girls and young women
The Icelandic musician and composer was close to tears when she received her award for Best Original Music Score for "The Joker." She was shocked to say the least, but more than expressing her own feelings, onstage, she focused on a message she wished to send to women in music and film: "To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters, who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up."
Renee Zellweger gets her Oscar
There a lot of first-time Oscar winners tonight, but absolutely all of them were deserving. One of them was Renee Zellweger for her magnetic portrayal of Hollywood icon Judy Garland in "Judy," a film that had her transform into the actress and singer mind, body, and soul. She was a strong contender for the award from the beginning, and we're happy to see this prediction come into fruition!
"Parasite" makes a sweeping win
They won in all the categories they were nominated for: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Picture. It was a massive moment in film history as a foreign film has never received this level of acclaim at the Academy Awards, and to win in major categories was nothing short of spectacular. We can forgive the cast for being lost for words and on the brink of tears, but when an entire auditorium of Hollywood's best is cheering for you and on their feet to applaud you, wouldn't you be, too? Congratulations to the "Parasite" team!
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