“Parasite” won best picture Sunday at the 92nd Academy Awards, capping off a night of surprise wins for the first foreign-language film to ever win the award.

In addition to making history in the night’s most prestigious category, the darkly comedic thriller is the first South Korean film to ever be nominated for an Oscar. Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho also won in the international feature and original screenplay categories, as well as best director -- triumphing over “1917” front-runner Sam Mendes, whose film didn’t wind up with quite as many awards as expected. (The World War I epic, made to look like it was filmed in one shot, did land cinematographer Roger Deakins his second win.)

All four acting trophies wound up with the artists who dominated throughout this award season: leads Joaquin Phoenix and Renée Zellweger for “Joker” and “Judy,” respectively, and supporting acts Brad Pitt and Laura Dern for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Marriage Story.”

Keep reading for a more thorough look at how the night unfolded.


  • “Parasite” dominates, winning best picture and best international feature as Bong Joon-ho wins best director and Bong and Han Jin-won win best original screenplay
  • Renée Zellweger wins best actress for “Judy”; Joaquin Phoenix wins best actor for “Joker”
  • Brad Pitt wins best supporting actor for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”; Laura Dern wins best supporting actress for “Marriage Story.”
  • Taika Waititi wins best adapted screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit”
  • “Toy Story 4” wins best animated feature film
  • Elton John and Bernie Taupin win for best original song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
  • Matthew Cherry wins best animated short film for “Hair Love.” Cherry, a former NFL player, is the second professional athlete to win an Oscar, following the late Kobe Bryant’s win for “Dear Basketball” in 2018.
  • Barack and Michelle Obama-produced “American Factory” wins best documentary feature
4:22 a.m.
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“Parasite” wins best picture

“Parasite” is the first foreign-language film to win best picture. Though its victory can safely be categorized as surprising, the movie received a groundswell of support in insider’s circles in the weeks leading up to the Oscars.

“I’m speechless,” producer Kwak Sin-ae said to a standing ovation for director Bong Joon-ho’s acclaimed film. “We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy.”

“I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now,” she continued. “I express my deep gratitude and respect for all the members of the academy for making this decision.”

Bong did not take the microphone. But Miky Lee, the mogul who built South Korea’s first movie multiplex and heads an entertainment empire worth more than $4 billion, praised the director in a speech. “I like everything about him, his smile, his crazy hair, the way he talks, the way he walks, especially the way he directs,” she said. “What I really like about him is his sense of humor...he never takes himself seriously.”

Lee also thanked the film’s supporters. “I really, really, really want to thank our Korean film audiences, our movie goers, who...never hesitated to give a straightforward opinion on what they think of our movies,” she joked before ending on a thankful note: “Without you, our Korean film audience, we are not here.”

4:13 a.m.
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Renée Zellweger wins best actress for “Judy”

This was the second Oscar win (and fourth nomination) for Zellweger, who previously won best supporting actress for “Cold Mountain.”

Following Phoenix's politically-charged speech, Zellweger took a more traditional route, thanking her fellow nominees, all those who worked on her film “Judy” and her family, “my immigrant folks who came here with nothing but each other and a belief in the American Dream, how about this?"

Her speech then began meandering a bit, as she ruminated on the legacy of Judy Garland, saying, “this past year of conversations celebrating Judy Garland across generations and across cultures has been a really cool reminder that our heroes unite us, the best among us who inspire us to find the best in ourselves. When we look to our heroes, we agree. And that matters."

Zellweger then namechecked a number of those “heroes,” everyone from Neil Armstrong to the Williams sisters to Bob Dylan to Harriet Tubman. “When we celebrate our heroes, we're reminded of who we are, as one people, united. And though Judy Garland did not receive this honor in her time, I'm certain this moment … [represents] her legacy of unique exceptionalism and inclusivity and generosity of spirit. It transcends any one of our artistic achievements."

“This is certainly for you,” she concluded.

4:05 a.m.
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Joaquin Phoenix wins best actor for “Joker”

Phoenix has been the favorite by a wide margin for this award, despite the critical backlash against the film. This is his first Academy Award and his fourth nomination. In winning, Phoenix becomes the second actor to be recognized by the academy for a role based on this comic-book character. In 2009, Heath Ledger posthumously won supporting actor for playing Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

In an emotional roller coaster of a speech, Phoenix spent most of his time onstage making a call for unity. “I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively, and I think at times we feel or we’re made to feel that we champion different causes,” he said. “But for me, I see commonality. I think whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the right against injustice.” Phoenix, an outspoken vegan advocate, railed against plundering the earth for its resources, and urged everyone to use “love and compassion” as their “driving principles.”

He also admitted that he had been a “scoundrel” in his life, and expressed gratitude to people in the room who had given him a second chance. He ended with an emotional tribute to his brother, River Phoenix, who died at age 23 of a drug overdose in 1993: “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric: He said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.’”

3:52 a.m.
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Bong Joon-ho wins best director for “Parasite”

This is Bong’s third award of the night, after best original screenplay and best international feature.

“After winning best international feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax,” Bong said via interpreter. After shouting out his fellow nominees — Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, mainly — he added in English, “I will drink until next morning. Thank you.”

3:45 a.m.
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Elton John and Bernie Taupin win for best original song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”

Four-time nominee John, who composed the music, just picked up his second Oscar win; this is the first win for Taupin, who wrote the lyrics.

“Needless to say most of this goes to the people that were involved in ‘Rocketman,’” Taupin said, holding up his trophy. “A little bit of this is in all of their hearts.” After thanking his family, he turned to his longtime collaborator: “I don’t have words for it,” he said. “This is just justification for 53 years of just hammering it out and doing what we do.”

John thanked Taupin, calling him “the constant thing in my life.” He also praised Taron Egerton for portraying him in “Rocketman,” and thanked everyone involved in the film.

“This is a dream for us,” he concluded. “We’ve never been nominated before for anything like this.”

3:42 a.m.
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Hildur Gudnadottir wins best original score for “Joker”

Gudnadottir took home her first Oscar after a string of wins at other ceremonies, such as the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the BAFTAs and even the Grammys, for her work in HBO miniseries “Chernobyl.” The Icelandic musician also became the first solo female composer to win for best score at the Golden Globes for her work in “Joker.”

“A film composer is only as creative as the dialogue of the director,” Gudnadottir said. “Todd Phillips was so generous to invite me on this journey and listen to me the whole way.”

She added, “To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices.”

3:24 a.m.
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“Parasite” wins best international feature

This is the first South Korean film to be nominated for an Oscar. It’s director Bong Joon-ho’s second award of the night, as he also took home the trophy for best original screenplay.

“The category has a new name now from best foreign language to best international feature film,” Bong said through an interpreter, adding that he was honored to be the first recipient in the newly named category. The previous category name was divisive, seen by many as othering and diminishing the films nominated under the banner “best foreign language film.” Added Bong, “I applaud and support the new direction that this change symbolizes.”

The director concluded his speech by switching to English and jovially announcing,” I’m ready to drink tonight.”

3:18 a.m.
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Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker win best makeup and hairstyling for “Bombshell”

This was the second nomination and win for Hiro. This was the first nomination and win for Morgan and Baker.

Hiro thanked everyone involved with the film, particularly Charlize Theron, who transformed into Megyn Kelly to such a stunning degree, it reportedly confused Kelly’s own son. “Because of your bravery and passion, we are able to set a new bar in the makeup industry and create a new way to tell stories,” he said. “We wouldn’t be getting this award without you.”

3:14 a.m.
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“1917” wins best visual effects

This is the second nomination and win for Guillaume Rocheron; second nomination and first win for Greg Butler; and third nomination and first win for Dominic Tuohy.

Rocheron called it a “dream project” and thanked director Sam Mendes, but it was definitely hard to pay attention after James Corden and Rebel Wilson presented the category dressed as cats from the famously failed movie “Cats” to make a joke about the importance of visual effects. (True, though.)

2:55 a.m.
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Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland win best film editing for “Ford v Ferrari”

This was the first win and nomination for Buckland, and the first win and second nomination for McCusker.

2:53 a.m.
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Roger Deakins wins best cinematography for “1917.”

This is Deakins’s second Oscar in this category. He first won in 2018 for “Blade Runner 2049” after 13 previous nominations.

2:40 a.m.
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“1917” wins for best sound mixing

Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson won for the film about the horror and futility of World War I.

2:37 a.m.
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“Ford v Ferrari” wins best sound editing

This is the first Oscar (and nomination) for Donald Sylvester.

Sylvester thanked his wife for giving up her career to raise their kids so he could pursue his (there seemed to be some light cheering and applause before people abruptly stopped and wondered if they should cheer and applaud that). He added that the “Ford v Ferrari” director, James Mangold, should have been nominated and won for best director.

2:29 a.m.
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Eminem is here, for some reason

The Oscars had a little montage to drive home how important music can be to a movie. And then it ended with …. “Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile.” Why? Who knows. But then Eminem himself came out to perform the song, and Hollywood’s elite loved it.

Eminem didn’t bother to show up when he won an Oscar for “Lose Yourself” back in 2003. Apparently he was napping at the time. Paradoxically, Mr. Mathers is much more alert now despite being several years older.