Twas the night of the Academy Awards, another celebration for the latest achievements in the world of cinema at the iconic Dolby Theatre. What was fascinating about this year was the variety we were treated to in terms of the nominees. Despite the lack of female directors on the list like Greta Gerwig, the disregard for The Farewell and the absence of Taron Egerton (Rocketman) in the Best Actor category, the 2020 Oscars still turned out to be a fine awards show thanks to the love for favorites like Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917 and the Korean masterpiece Parasite.
Great surprises were bound to happen with Parasite making history as the only non-English language film to have won Best Picture in the history of the Oscars with a Best Screenplay and Best Directing win for Bong Joon-Ho plus an extra treat: Best International Feature Film. Laura Dern has always been captivating in all her roles, and her Best Supporting Actress win for Marriage Story was very well-deserved. The fact that Adam Driver also received a nomination for Best Actor was truly wonderful. Florence Pugh, who played Dern’s daughter in Little Women, the scene-stealing Amy March, was another favorite as she made the Best Supporting Actress nominee list. Although Saoirse Ronan was very commanding as Jo March and Cynthia Erivo also got nominated for her portrayal of Harriet – in addition to giving us a powerful performance of “Stand Up” – Renee Zellweger deserved the Best Actress win as Judy Garland in the Judy biopic. Also deserving a mention was Billie Eilish’s stunning rendition of “Yesterday” to remember the filmmaking greats who have recently passed away. How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World being considered for Best Animated Feature really thrilled me, and Toy Story 4 representing the category was a marvel.
Overall, the biggest takeaway of the night is that film is a universal medium and that we can learn a lot about life, acceptance and compassion from worldwide narratives and languages other than our own.