Handbag snacks, surprise Eminem and Cats – 12 stand-out Oscar moments
It was supposed to be the most predictable Oscars in a long time, with the favourites in most of the big categories deemed almost dead-certs in the run-up to the ceremony.
As anticipated, acting front-runners Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern did indeed triumph – but South Korean film Parasite was the surprise big winner of the night.
Starting with the best original screenplay award, it won the country’s first ever Oscar– and then went on to win its second, third and fourth, including the awards’ biggest prize, best picture.
It was the story of the night – but there were plenty of other big talking points from the star-studded event.
If you couldn’t stay up to watch it, don’t worry. Here are our Oscars 2020 highlights.
Brad Pitt finally wins his first acting Oscar
All the acting categories seemed pretty certain ahead of the ceremony, with Phoenix, Zellweger, Pitt and Dern all taking home the trophies at the awards in the run-up to the Oscars, including the Golden Globes, the SAGs and the Critics’ Choice.
But with 30 years of films under his belt and no acting Oscar up till now, this was a big one for Pitt.
The four-time nominee was named best supporting actor for his role as a stuntman in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.
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So far this awards season, the star has made headlines thanks to his speeches joking about everything from Brexit and Megxit to his single status, but he kept the tone a little more serious for the biggest night of the year.
“This is incredible, really incredible,” he said. “Thank you for this honour of honours.
“This is really about Quentin Tarantino, you are original, you are one of a kind, the film industry would be a much drier place without you.”
Paying tribute to his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, Pitt said: “Leo, I’ll ride on your coattails any day man, the view’s fantastic.
“This is for my kids, who colour everything I do. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, ain’t that the truth?”
1917 (sort of) misses out
War epic 1917 was the favourite for best picture and best director for Sam Mendes leading up to the awards.
On the night, it took home three – cinematography, sound mixing and visual effects – making it second only to Parasite.
However, after success at both the BAFTAs and Golden Globes it was widely thought that British filmmaker Mendes would win his second directing Oscar for the movie, which was filmed to appear as one long take.
It would have come exactly 20 years after his win for American Beauty, but it wasn’t to be.
However, British cinematographer Roger Deakins did win in his category.
Asked backstage what attracted him to the film, he said Mendes was the main pull.
“The subject and working with Sam again, frankly,” he said after collecting his Oscar. “I’ve done three films with Sam and they were all great experiences. That and World War One.”
Speaking to Sky News on the red carpet before the ceremony, Mendes described Parasite as a “masterpiece”, so we’re guessing there are no hard feelings.
Eminem makes a surprise appearance
Of all the names that could have appeared on stage, rapper Eminem is probably not a celebrity who would spring to mind.
However, this was his arrival on the Oscars stage almost 20 years after skipping the Academy Awards in 2003, when Lose Yourself was named best original song.
Eminem, real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III, finally got to perform the song, from the soundtrack to 8 Mile, to a mostly appreciative audience.
“If you had another shot, another opportunity… ” he tweeted following his performance, referencing the opening lines from the track.
Backstage, producer Lynette Howell Taylor was especially excited – save for a momentary panic that he didn’t have his mic.
Director Martin Scorsese? Let’s just say it doesn’t look like he’s a fan.
Billie Eilish also performs… but we still have to wait for Bond
In the past 12 months, Billie Eilish has become one of the most famous teenagers on the planet.
After topping charts around the world and conquering Glastonbury, earlier this year she was named the youngest artist ever to be recording a James Bond theme.
So when it was then announced she would be performing at the Oscars, it was widely anticipated the 18-year-old might be debuting the song for No Time To Die, which was written with her elder brother, Finneas O’Connell.
But the world still has to wait for that. Instead, Eilish performed The Beatles’ Yesterday during the In Memoriam segment.
Ahead of the show she posted a message on Instagram to say she was “honoured” to be “covering a song I’ve always loved”.
Cats finally gets some Oscars love
Panned by critics and, well, pretty much anyone who watched it, the all-star film version of the hit musical Cats was never going to be an Oscar contender.
But in fact, it did get some recognition at this year’s awards, providing one of the most memorable moments of the night courtesy of two of its stars, Rebel Wilson and James Corden.
Donning their costumes from the film as they presented the award for visual effects, the pair were happy to poke fun at the film and its own visuals, which were widely mocked on social media.
“Nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” Corden quipped, before announcing 1917 as the winner.
Sadly, their fellow Cats stars Judi Dench, Idris Elba and Taylor Swift weren’t there to join them on stage.
Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig tout for work
For the second year in a row, the ceremony was hostless, but there were memorable introductions given by some of the presenters.
Providing comedic elements were Bridesmaids co-stars and Saturday Night Live alumnae Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, who received some of the biggest laughs of the night as they used their platform in front of industry heavyweights to show off their acting talents.
Presenting the prize for best production design, their audition skit was one performance Scorsese did seem to enjoy.
“We’re not mad,” Wiig said, after they came out apparently furious. “That… was an act.”
Later, while presenting the award for best costume design, the pair performed a medley of songs about fashion, including Thong Song, Vogue and These Boots Are Made For Walking.
Julia Butters takes her own sarnies
She’s a 10-year-old actress who turned out to be a scene-stealer opposite Oscars veteran Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.
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At the Oscars, Julia Butters made her fashion mark, wearing a beautiful pink gown as she appeared on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony.
What do you keep in your handbag when you’re a movie star at the biggest night in Hollywood? We’re guessing for most actresses it’s a phone, maybe a lippy.
But Butters had the right idea, telling reporters she was sneaking in a turkey sandwich so she could snack during the show – because she wasn’t keen on the look of the mostly plant-based menu.
Elton John gets emosh
An emotional Sir Elton John planted a kiss on Bernie Taupin as the long-time songwriting partners won the best original song prize for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, which featured in Rocketman, the musical biopic starring Taron Egerton.
When the result was announced, Sir Elton, dressed in a typically flamboyant purple outfit, looked to the sky and mouthed, “oh my God” before planting a kiss on Taupin’s head.
“Thank you to Bernie, who’s been the constant thing in my life – when I was screwed up, when I was normal, he’s always been there for me,” Sir Elton said on stage.
Speaking backstage, the singer, who was missing his annual Oscars viewing party to perform at the ceremony, dedicated the win to his musical partner.
“This is for him, this is for my partner of 53 years,” he said. “Without him, I wouldn’t be here. He started the process, he gave me the lyric, without lyrics I’m nobody.”
He also praised his husband David Furnish, who served as a producer on the film, as well as Golden Globe winner Egerton, who he said should have been nominated for best actor.
“For me, he was the best performance this year,” Sir Elton said.
He also paid tribute to his two sons, Zachary and Elijah, who he said he had called about his win.
“They are so happy,” he said. “I love them so much, they love their daddy.”
First acting Oscar for Netflix
Streaming service Netflix entered the Oscars race as the studio with the highest number of nominations – 24 – for The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes.
Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman, starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, was left empty-handed, despite 10 nods, as was The Two Popes.
However, Laura Dern did pick up the best supporting actress prize for her performance as a divorce lawyer in Marriage Story.
Her mother, the actress Diane Ladd – who was nominated three times but never won – wiped away tears as she collected the trophy.
Dern paid tribute to her famous parents, saying: “Some say never meet your heroes but I say, if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents.
“I share this with my acting legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game, I love you.”
Netflix also won the best documentary feature prize for American Factory.
Calling out diversity
Whether in speeches on stage or through their outfits, the stars were determined to highlight the disparity at Hollywood’s biggest awards night.
Despite the milestone wins for Parasite, the Academy had faced criticism in the run-up to the ceremony, with just one black person shortlisted in the acting categories and no women in the running for best director.
This year’s was the least diverse line-up since the #OscarsSoWhite backlash in 2016.
Two former Oscar hosts, Chris Rock and Steve Martin, provided the opening monologue – “an incredible demotion,” as Martin called it, before reminding the audience that something was missing from this year’s directing nominees.
“Vaginas!” Rock replied.
Janelle Monae, who gave the opening performance, also referred to the lack of women nominated in the directing category, saying: “We are celebrating all the women who directed phenomenal films. I’m proud to be here as a black, queer woman.”
Her performance was greeted by a standing ovation.
And Natalie Portman used her embroidered cape to highlight the issue, with the names of the female directors who missed out on nominations stitched into the fabric.
Joker composer Hildur Guonadottir, who became only the third woman to ever win best original score, said on stage: “To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music opening within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices.”
And best actor winner Phoenix also used his impassioned speech to talk about equality rights.
“I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes,” he said. “But for me, I see commonality.
“I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice.”
Spike Lee pays tribute to Kobe
While the Oscars red carpet is a huge fashion catwalk, with eyes all on the glamorous gowns, director Spike Lee used his outfit to send a message.
In a sea of black tuxedos, he wore a jacket in the purple shade of the Los Angeles Lakers, paying tribute to the late basketball star Kobe Bryant.
The jacket also featured the sportsman’s number, 24, on its lapels.
Zack Gottsagen made history as the first presenter with Down’s syndrome
Shia LaBeouf’s The Peanut Butter Falcon co-star Zach Gottsagen turned out on stage with him to make history as the first Oscar presenter with Down’s syndrome.
Announcing the award for the live-action short film category, the 35-year-old got to say the famous words: “And the Oscar goes to…”
The pair were greeted by huge cheers from the audience, and got lots of love on social media, too.