“Parasite” makes history at the Oscars, and other Academy news

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Graphic via The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy Awards hosts the 92nd Oscars in late January.

The 92nd Academy Awards aired on February 9th and the show was filled with surprises; some were welcome, some were not. 

The most show-stopping moment, of course, was “Parasite” winning Best Picture. The film made history, being the first non-English language movie to win the coveted prize. The Academy doesn’t exactly have the best track record with diversity and recognizing underrepresented groups, but for once they pulled through and awarded the trophy to the true Best Picture. Director Bong Joon-ho also recieved Best Director for his work on the film. “Parasite” is a social satire that showcases the class discrimination in South Korea. It was met with massive critical acclaim for its moving and memorable story, perfected cinematography and fitting soundtrack.

Another pleasant surprise was a performance by Eminem. He took the stage with “Lose Yourself” and was met with a well-deserved standing ovation. “Lose Yourself” won an Oscar in 2003 for Best Original Song, but the rapper did not attend the awards ceremony that year. This made his performance 17 years late, but the legendary track never gets old.

“Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. The film covers the story of a black father who has to do his daughter’s hair for an event. The story stands out for its focus on self-confidence and a positive father-daughter relationship. 

Unfortunately, the good news ends here. As usual, the ceremony dragged on past its time limit with cluttered introductions and piles of presenters. Year two of the Oscars without a host should have gone better than the first, right? Wrong. There were famous presenters on stage to present the uber-famous presenters who would then finally, finally, present the nominees. 

Chris Rock began the night with a ‘woke’ roast on the Academy, calling out the lack of nominees of color.  

“Cynthia did such a good job in ‘Harriet’ hiding black people that the Academy had her hide all the black nominees,” he said. 

Several other people who took the stage made similar comments, but with each comment, they become less and less genuine. It seemed like throwaway comments to protect their brand, as there’s no action being taken to actually increase the recognition of women and people of color. The callouts are nothing but hypocritical when these celebrities are still promoting and participating in the awards ceremony.

The Oscars are riddled with problems, but they always seem to have one saving grace. “Parasite” and its historical win rescued a drawn-out ceremony from complete disaster. Hopefully, the Academy learns from their mistakes and finally corrects their recurring problems in the future.