Chaos was the name of the game at the 2020 Oscars. Hostless for its second year running, the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony was a dizzying hodgepodge of false starts, unexpected musical numbers, bonkers speeches, and jumbled aesthetics. Who co-signed on those Cats costumes? Why is Joaquin Phoenix so into cows? And what the hell is Eminem even doing here?
At the center of the whirlwind, Bong Joon Ho’s masterful Parasite emerged victorious, making history as the first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture, while also nabbing statuettes in the Directing, Original Screenplay, and newly-rechristened International Film categories. The night’s big acting awards went to Phoenix for Joker and Renée Zellweger for Judy, while Golden Globe winner 1917 won in many of the technical categories, and Jojo Rabbit scored Best Adapted Screenplay.
But Parasite’s much-deserved surprise sweep aside, this year’s ceremony was a night of shiny baubles that seemed designed to distract us from the Academy’s continued, glaring diversity problem. No women were nominated for Best Director in a year that gave us Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet. (You can read all about it on Natalie Portman’s custom-embroidered cape.) Meanwhile, few people of color were up for any major awards (in all the acting categories, the only non-white contender was Cynthia Erivo for Best Actress in Harriet). Maybe next year, they’ll address this issue in earnest. Until then, here are our picks for the most sublime, terrible, and just downright strange moments of the 2020 Oscars.