2020 Oscars: The Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" make history
The South Korean's film was the first non-English speaking film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Has Hollywood stopped looking at its belly button?
Like a child seeing snow for the first time, filmmaker Bong Joon-ho gazed upon the Oscar statuette. It was his. He won it for Best International Picture, Best Director, and, never before seen in the Oscars for a foreign film, Best Picture. Neither Fellini nor Almodóvar nor Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" had won it. Not satisfied with that, the South Korean also starred in the most exciting speech of the ceremony with the humility of a genius who still doesn't believe in their greatness. And he did it in his own language.
"When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying carved in my heart: The most personal is the most creative. The phrase is from Martin Scorsese," he said.
Because "Parasites" is not only an amazing mix of thriller, comedy, and horror, where meanness does not distinguish between social classes, it also swept the U.S. box office. Since its release in more than 1,000 cinemas across the country, the film has raised more than $30 million.
The gala was expected to be boring, with no surprises as Joaquin Phoenix won for "Joker" and Renee Zellweger for Judy Garland.
But Phoenix, who won his first Oscar at 45, made a speech we were all unprepared for, talking about the fight against social injustice, gender inequality, and in favor of the LGBTQ movement and indigenous rights:
"When we use love and compassion as our guiding principals, we can create systems of change. ... Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we guide each other to grow, for redemption, that is the best of humanity," he stated.
Cynthia Erivo, the only black person nominated for these prestigious "white" awards, also took the stage to perform "Stand Up," a song from the movie "Harriet," and her voice brought the famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman's back to life.
However, the most original show of support on the night was Natalie Portman's, who walked the red carpet dressed in a Dior raincoat embroidered with the names of the female filmmakers who had been left out of the competition: Greta Gerwig for 'Little Women', Lulu Wang for 'The Farewell', Alma Har'el for 'Honey Boy', Lorene Scafaria for 'Wall Street Swindlers.' This came despite the lukewarm comments of the gala about the absence of women, which Steve Martin and Chris Rock heated up at the beginning of the ceremony by asking "Where are the vaginas?"
Irish orchestra director Eímear Noone could have replied: "Here they are!" After 92 editions of the Oscars, Noone is the first woman to lead the orchestra in charge of performing the nominated soundtracks, and another woman — Iceland's Hildur Guðnadóttir — took the prize for the score of "Joker".
"To the women and girls, to the mothers and daughters who listen to the music inside them. Please raise your voices. We need to hear you," said the artist.
These 2020 Oscars may not have been as symbolic and representative as the previous year's — Latinos were conspicuous in their absence from the ceremony, except for Salma Hayek and a brief mention of Brad Pitt to Robert Garcia - but a few "Parasites" colonizing Hollywood's big stomach should be seen as a victory for all. Or at the very least, an opportunity.