“And the Oscar goes to…” Jane Fonda pauses for what feels like an hour. She takes a short breath. “…Parasite!”
I scream so loud that my throat hurts minutes afterwards. Jess clasps her hands to her mouth and laughs out of disbelief. Jake jumps up and down around the room, cheering profanities. It’s absolute chaos of pure joy.
The 2020 Academy Awards made history on Sunday, Feb.9 by awarding the first international film the title of Best Picture. “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon Ho, won four Oscars, including best film of the year, which has never happened in the course of 92 years.
Ho gave humble speech after humble speech upon accepting his awards. However, accepting the award for Best Picture was Kwak Sin Ae, a female Korean producer. What an awesome sentence.
The history-making didn’t stop there. Taikia Waititi, one of my favorite directors and greatest inspirations as a filmmaker won Best Adapted Screenplay, becoming the first indiginous director to ever win an Oscar.
Then, Maestra Eímear Noone became the first female conductor of the Oscars, in which she directed a medley from the films nominated for Best Score. Her bold, gold vest perfectly fit her intense and passionate facial expressions as she conducted history.
An absolute queen, Janelle Monáe, opened the ceremony by performing “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and her own single “Come Alive.” The epic opening featured dancers dressed in costumes that represented several films made in the last year that were not nominated, such as “Us” and “Midsommar.”
“I’m so proud to stand here as a black, queer artist telling stories,” Monáe cheered in the middle of the performance.
While award season is a time of excitement and achievement, I’m usually stressed out and overwhelmed over the lack of representation that we continually see in nominees. It feels like each year there’s a new hashtag that exposes what the award show lacks.
#OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsSoMale have floated around Twitter over the past few years. But this year, #OscarsSoWoke seems to be popping up. The amount of diversity and “making history” was almost overwhelming.
That’s a good thing, right?
Some have claimed the wokeness of this year’s Oscars felt too contrived, almost as if the academy was apologizing for not recognizing the talent of diverse artists in the first place. Maybe if women and people of color were being acknowledged from the start, history could have been made 92 years ago.
However, regardless of the academy’s intentions, to see a variety of people telling a variety of stories, they deserved to be congratulated. We understand and grow from others and their art, in hopes of being able to emulate it one day.
Personally, I want to keep learning from the Korean, queer, passionate women who mold the film industry.
So, thank you, 2020 Oscars. Thank you for making history.
Story by: Amanda Walton
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