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Oscars Recap: ‘Parasite’ Makes History, Pitt Wins First Oscar And More

Executive producers Min Heoi Heo and Miky Lee, producer Kwak Sin-ae, and So-dam Park accept the Best Picture award for
Executive producers Min Heoi Heo and Miky Lee, producer Kwak Sin-ae, and So-dam Park accept the Best Picture award for "Parasite" during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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In a milestone win that instantly expanded the Oscars' horizons, Bong Joon Ho's masterfully devious class satire “Parasite” became the first non-English language film to win best picture in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards. 

“Parasite” took Hollywood’s top prize on Sunday night, along with awards for best director, best international film and best screenplay. In a year dominated by period epics - “1917,” “Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood,” “The Irishman” - the film academy instead went overseas, to South Korea, to reward  a contemporary and unsettling portrait of social inequality in “Parasite.” True to its name, “Parasite” simply got under the skin of Oscar voters, attaching itself to the American awards season and, ultimately, to history. The win was a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category. But in recent years, to diversify its membership, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has invited many more overseas voters. 

Sam Mendes’ audaciously conceived World War I film “1917,” made to seem one continuous shot, had been the clear favorite heading into Oscars, having won nearly all the precursor awards, including top honors from the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. In the end, “1917” went home with three awards for its technical virtuosity: Roger Deakins' cinematography, visual effects and sound mixing. All of the acting winners - Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix and Laura Dern - went as expected. Awards were spread around to all of the best picture nominees, with the lone exception being Scorsese's 10-time nominee “The Irishman.” When Bong mentioned his admiration of Scorsese, an impromptu tribute broke out, with the Dolby Theatre giving Scorsese a standing ovation. The car racing throwback “Ford v Ferrari” won both editing and sound editing. Gerwig's Louisa May Alcott adaptation “Little Women” won for Jacqueline Durran's costume design. “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” won for Barbara Ling's production design.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll recap the major awards from Sunday night’s ceremony, talk about what the historic win for “Parasite” means for the Academy going forward

With files from the Associated Press


Claudia Puig, film critic for KPCC and president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA); she tweets @ClaudiaPuig

Tom O’Neil, founder, president and editor of Gold Derby, an online publication that tracks and predicts the Oscars, Emmys Grammys and more