The Oscars have had plenty of controversies this year, especially regarding the lack of diversity within the nominations. This year, the controversy extended to guests with Natalie Portman wearing an iconic black and gold Dior gown with a cape that was embroidered with the names of the women who directed the movies “Little Women” (Greta Gerwig), “Hustlers” (Lorene Scafaria), “The Farewell” (Lulu Wang) and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Marielle Heller). All of these women were passed over for a nomination for Best Director, which only men were nominated for. While all of these men did a perfectly adequate job at directing, the women were just as deserving were passed up for a nomination for no good reason.
The snubs for women and people of color didn’t stop at the Best Director category. Cynthia Ervio, a black British actress, was the sole person of color to be nominated across all 20 acting categories. It seemed to be a token nomination, as Eddie Murphy’s greatest performance of his career had no nominations. Also, none of the “Parasite” actors were nominated for their great performances in the award-winning movie. The awards disregarded great performances from Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”), Awkwafina (“The Farewell”), Alfie Woodard (“Clemency”), Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy”) and Zhao Shuzhen (“The Farewell”).
Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor in a Leading Role, for his role in “Joker.” In a touching speech, he gave an emotional tribute to his brother, River, who died of an overdose at age 23. He also attacked the dairy industry and the breeding of cows for milk, which caused some unnecessary backlash from dairy farmers on Monday.
“Parasite” made history being the first non-English film to win Best Picture. Last year’s “Roma” seemed poised to win. However, its slow pace and black and white photography counted against the movie during the 2019 Oscars. Also, “Roma” was funded by the streaming company, Netflix, which raised the question: Can a streaming service win an Oscar? All of these combined factors allowed “Green Book” to win Best Picture. Bong Joon Ho took home a total of four Oscars, Best Directing, International Feature Film, and Best Original Screenplay, tying with Walt Disney for the most Oscars won in a single night. When Bong had to get his Oscars engraved, he apologized to the engravers for having too many Oscars.
Another man who made history was Taika Waititi for his win for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for his writing on the movie “Jojo Rabbit.” As a Māori, he became one of the first indigenous New Zealanders to win an Oscar dedicating his speech to the indigenous people of the world. This is a big step for indigenous representation, as Waititi has won one of the more popular awards and his work, including “Jojo Rabbit” and the vampire tv show “What We Do in the Shadows,” is very popular.
Eminem made a surprise performance at the Oscars this year, to perform his song “Lose Yourself” for which he won an Oscar in 2003. In 2003, he didn’t attend the ceremony as he believed that “younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me.” Most of the audience were surprised, and confused, at his appearance, however, it seemed to be an attempt for Eminem to reconcile with his past.
The Oscars didn’t have a host this year, an action that seemed to foreshadow another disappointing awards ceremony. However, “Parasite’s” wins, Natalie Portman’s dress, and the expressions of the audience as Eminem performed “Lose Yourself,” lead to a great ceremony that will surely be unforgettable.