Oscars 2020: The biggest talking points from Brad Pitt’s first win to Eminem’s unexpected appearance

There were some big surprises at the Hollywood bash

After the big shock of the night, everything else that happened at the Oscars 2020 feels like but a footnote. And yet! The night wasn’t all about Parasite. Some big names got their first wins, the stars let the Academy know how they feel about diversity, and we came to a very anti-climactic end of Brad Pitt’s comedy tour of awards shows. Catch up on all the happenings below.

A night of firsts

It seems hard to believe but there are still some luminaries in the current acting scene who have yet to win their own Oscars. Before tonight, Laura Dern and Brad Pitt were two of those (Pitt won an Oscar for his role of producer on 12 Years A Slave but has never received one for his acting) who got to set that wrong right. South Korea got its first Oscar – and then a second, a third, and a fourth. A female conductor led the orchestra for the first time during a medley of the Best Original Score nominees, and Taika Waititi became the first person of Maori descent to win an Oscar when he collected the trophy for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit. A lot of firsts for one night, but there’s still a long way to go before the Oscars is perfect.

Natalie Portman and Janelle Monáe show how to call out the Academy

Two of the stars in attendance at tonight’s ceremony took their own path in calling out the snubs and lack of diversity in the nominations. First, Natalie Portman took the route of subtlety, having the names of female directors (Hustlers’ Lorene Scaforia, Little Women’s Greta Gerwig, The Farewell’s Lulu Wang, and more )who deserved to be nominated in the all-male Best Director category embroidered into her Dior cape.


Then there was Janelle Monáe who opened the show with a (fittingly enough) film-inspired performance. During it, she made her feelings about the nominees clear when she said: “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films.”

Brad Pitt ditched the comedy

This awards season, Brad Pitt has seemed like he’s setting himself up for a new line in comedy work. But when he finally got his hands on that first acting Oscar, he ditched the gags and made a beeline for something more serious – political commentary. “I’ve only got about 45 seconds, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he quipped, referencing the former National Security Adviser’s offer to testify in Trump’s impeachment trial. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it and in the end the adults do the right thing.” Here’s hoping that becomes reality in more ways than one.

Eminem performed for some reason?

Oscars night is usually full of surprises but one that nobody seemed to be expecting was Eminem’s performance. After a segment celebrating some of the most iconic music moments in movie history, the rapper suddenly appeared on stage to deliver a rendition of ‘Lose Yourself’ from his 2002 film 8 Mile. Fair enough, but nobody seemed to be able to figure out exactly why Eminem was there over any number of other performers. There’s no anniversary upcoming, no special significance that could justify it and so, for the time being, the crowd and the internet must remain confused. Unless your Martin Scorsese, who appeared to be napping throughout the performance, in which case you probably don’t even know it happened.

Parasite’s history-making success gives us hope for the future

Parasite’s success at the Oscars – and 2020 awards season in general – points at a potential shift in the film industry in the future. Perhaps now one film has broken down barriers, stories will no longer be overlooked just because they’re not in English or require you to read subtitles, and hopefully that borderless acceptance will extend to more than just movies too. Bong Joon-ho’s success with Parasite has been proof for those who needed it that limiting yourself to only your own culture and things that reflect your own worldview means allowing yourself to miss out on some stunning, thought-provoking and, perhaps, history-making works.