Seven Unexpected Oscar Moments

The Oscars are always packed with exciting moments, from the fashions on the red carpet, surprise winners and political statements. And 2020 was no exception!

Here are our picks for the most unexpected moments from the 2020 Oscars:

1. Parasite Wins Best Movie and Best Director

Parasite made history as the first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture. And in a field of very strong director contenders, it was relative newcomer Bong Joon Ho that won the Oscar for Best Director.

2. Taika Waititi Scores an Historic Win

Waititi is of Maori descent, and was the first Indigenous person to win the Best Adapted Screenplay award for Jojo Rabbit. He dedicated his win to Indigenous kids to inspire them.

In addition, when he was presenting, he made a land acknowledgement.

3. The Best Animated Short Winner Featured Black Hair

Hair Love won for Best Animated Short, and displayed representation in animation by normalizing Black hair. 

Its creator, Matthew A. Cherry used his acceptance speech to promote the CROWN Act, or “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” Act that prevents discrimination based on hair style or texture.

4. Natalie Portman Made a Statement About Overlooked Female Directors

It’s not the first time Natalie Portman has made a statement about directors. She called out the “all-male nominees” for Best Director at the Golden Globes in 2018. This time, she let her outfit on the red carpet do the talking. 

Her red carpet look at the 2020 Oscars included a black cape that was embroidered with the first names of directors Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Mati Diop (Atlantics) and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).

5. Janelle Monáe had her Say in the Opening Number

Some snubbed films at least got a mention in the opening number of the Oscar show. 

Films like Us, Queen & Slim, Dolemite Is My Name and Midsommar were honored by background dancers dressed to represent those films. What brought the point home was Monáe singing, “it’s time to come alive because the Oscars is so white.”

6. A Female Conductor Led the Oscar Orchestra

The Oscars have never had a female conductor in all of its 91 years. This year, Irish musician Eimear Noone conducted the orchestra that played a medley of Best Original Score songs. 

In addition to enthusiastic applause, she earned a standing ovation from Janelle Monáe.

7. Brad Pitt Wins Best Supporting Actor and Slips a Political Point Into his Speech

Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and took the opportunity to say something political in his acceptance speech. 

He noted he had 45 seconds to deliver the speech, which was “45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week” in reference to Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. 

It’s moments like these that make the Oscars so entertaining to watch.

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