Last night, the 92nd Academy Awards took place in Los Angeles and on screens around the world. Predictions were made. Awards were won. But now, it is time to recount the real winners…
Once again, the Oscars were without a host. It felt a little like watching a black tie version of capture the flag, with each rotating presenter or musical act running swiftly into the next. Aside from Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix, the night was largely devoid of the political speeches that dominated award shows earlier in the year. But it still had plenty of surprises.
Most Gracious Speech
Bong Joon Ho and Parasite cleaned up, winning Best Screenplay, Best International Feature, Best Director, AND Best Picture. (It made history as the first foreign language film to ever win best picture!) But his speech for Best Director was the sweetest, most gracious of all. “When I was a young artist, there was a saying I carved deep into my heart: ‘The most personal is the most creative.’ This is a quote from Martin Scorsese.” He went on to call out the wonderful achievements of both Scorsese and the other best director nominees, in a way that was charming, touching and humble, making this well-deserved win that much nicer.
Best Musical Number
This award goes to Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, for their introduction to the nominees for Best Costume Design, which they sang instead of spoke. Their ditty included everything from “These Boots Are Made for Walking” to “Devil With a Blue Dress” to “The Thong Song.” Though it wasn’t meant to be a musical number, it was easily the very best one. Academy, if you ever wish to return to a hosted format, please give the job to these two.
Most Confusing Moment
This award unanimously goes to a virtually unrecognizable Eminem performing “Lose Yourself,” approximately 85 years after the song’s heyday. (Technically, the song is from 2002, but you know.) “Was… this in a movie this year? Or something?” my boyfriend asked, confusedly nibbling on a carrot. The best part was the many times the camera cut to audience members looking incredibly perplexed or else rocking out to the song, heads bobbing and arms thrust in the air. It ended with a rousing standing ovation. What exactly was this? What was your take? Discuss.
This is a two-way tie between Keanu Reeves and his mom, Patricia Taylor, and Laura Dern and her mom, Diane Ladd. We imagine it was especially thrilling for mom to see Laura win her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Marriage Story.
Accessory I Most Want to Steal
This award goes to two-time Oscar winner Elton John’s pink rhinestone glasses. (Though it is closely rivaled by Natalie Portman’s female-director-embroidered cape.) Every way he turned, the glasses glinted majestically in the light. They are perfect. I want them. That is all.
Best Use of Ruffles to Resemble Other Things
This award is a four-way tie between Florence Pugh (for resembling the sea), Sandra Oh (for resembling mille-feuille), Saoirse Ronan (for resembling an orchid eating a black and white cookie), and Kristen Wiig (for resembling lasagna). Love it or hate it, we salute these women for embracing bold looks.
Best (Worst?) Earworm That Will Haunt Your Dreams for Weeks to Come
Raise your hand if “Let It Go,” the title song from Frozen featured prominently in your home/public places/nightmares at any point in the last few years. (Both of my hands are straight up in the air.) Because that wasn’t enough, Frozen 2 features an eerily similar song, “Into the Unknown.” And because THAT wasn’t enough, last night, it was sung by TEN ELSAS from around the world. Look, this is not to take away from the incredible talent that is Idina Menzel, nor the power of seeing these women sing in unison. That’s just what I’ll try to keep in mind as this song undoubtedly haunts me at the grocery store, the coffee shop, the bank, and anywhere else music is played, for the foreseeable future.
Best Anthropomorphic Ensemble
This award goes to Rebel Wilson and James Corden, dressed as cats from Cats, as they batted playfully at the microphone. Because sometimes there’s nothing better than comedians in costume.
Best Billy Porter Moment
The last couple years have graced us with so many wonderful Billy Porter moments that he officially warrants his own category. (See also: the Grammys, the Met Gala, last year’s Oscars, and every awards round-up I’ve done.) On yesterday’s red carpet, it seemed like Billy had outdone himself yet again in a Giles Deacon gold feathered ensemble. That is, until the opening number, a musical homage to some of the year’s best films, in which he sang alongside Janelle Monáe. As Porter belted his heart out in a glittering golden jacket and rhinestone platform boots, it was easily the best Billy of the night.
Best Job Upstaging Billy Porter
We thought it could never be done. This award goes to the one and only Janelle Monáe in her incredible Ralph Lauren gown (and red lipstick!). The hooded dress featured nearly 170,000 Swarovski crystals and took over 600 hours to make. On the red carpet, she joked to Billy Porter that she knew he would be there so she had to really “bring it,” fashion wise. And bring it she did. She was easily the star of the night.
And that concludes this year’s round-up of the real winners. Did you watch the Oscars this year? What were your favorite moments?