The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just finished handing out their awards for 2019, which resulted in a rather big twist near the end. Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" has defeated presumed frontrunner "1917" to claim Best Picture, making it the first foreign language film ever to receive the honor. The film also received Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Film. "1917" followed close behind with three wins that included Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Mixing.
For the vast majority of the evening, everything was going exactly to plan, with the biggest surprise being when the Sound categories ended up being split between "1917" and "Ford v Ferrari." However, a gigantic bombshell was dropped when Bong Joon Ho pulled the biggest upset in the history of the Best Director category over presumed winner Sam Mendes (who has won the Critics' Choice, Golden Globe, Directors Guild, and BAFTA awards for Best Director). This clearly showed their love of "Parasite," and combined with Original Screenplay, made it perfectly clear that the film would be taking the top award.
It's a bit of a shame, for while "Parasite" was a decent film, it was ultimately average and forgettable, while "1917" would've made for a grand film to represent 2019. However, given the Academy's love of movies of the former type (particularly in the last few years), it's not altogether surprising that that's the direction their votes would go.
And so, as we end up having to say a lot lately when it comes to the Oscars, we can only hope that next year will be different, and that we'll get a genuinely remarkable film that truly ranks as one of the very best of the year.
Please see below for a list of tonight's Oscar winners:
Best Picture: Parasite Best Director: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker Best Actress: Renee Zellweger, Judy Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern, Marriage Story Best Original Screenplay: Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite Best Adapted Screenplay: Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit Best Film Editing: Ford v Ferrari Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, 1917 Best Production Design: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood Best Costume Design: Little Women Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Bombshell Best Original Score: Joker Best Original Song: "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," Rocketman Best Sound Editing: Ford v Ferrari Best Sound Mixing: 1917 Best Visual Effects: 1917 Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 4 Best Documentary Feature: American Factory Best International Film: Parasite Best Live Action Short: The Neighbors' Window Best Animated Short: Hair Love Best Documentary Short: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)