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Felicity Warner / HCM

The Historic 2020 Oscars

It’s over, the 2020 awards season is over.

It was grueling, stressful, and at times I thought we wouldn’t survive, but we did it.

Going into these Oscars, I was still carrying the annoyance and frustration of the 2019 Academy Awards of Merit Ceremony so I had lost all hope. This year, I had my ballot ready and I was just expecting a night with absolutely zero surprises: nothing exciting. I’m glad to have been proven wrong.

The night began with a performance by Janelle Monaee and Billy Porter. They performed a number honoring the nominees and the snubs. Janelle Monae was wearing a Midsommar inspired cape while the dancers were also dressed in clothing inspired by some of the most famous award snubs like Us, Midsommar, and Dolemite Is My Name. It was a great way to start the night.

When they started handing out the awards, the first golden statuette went to Brad Pitt for his Supporting Role In Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood—no surprise there. The award was locked down by Brad Pitt just as were the rest of the acting categories by their respective actors: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, Renee Zellweger for Judy, and Laura Dern for Marriage Story. They all won to the surprise of no one. Toy Story 4 won for Best Animated Feature Film. I was surprised by this win since it hadn’t won any of the previous technical awards, but I still wanted Klaus to win. I should note that when Toy Story 4 won I broke my ballot: my watch party was only 30 minutes in and I thought the rest of the night would be bad.

Hair Love won for Best Animated Short. I wanted it to win and for a second thought it wouldn’t but it did and I’m so happy! 1917 swept the technical categories, and I can’t complain because it was worthy of it, and Ford V Ferrari managed to win Best Editing.

However, there was a  the moment when everything started looking up, and it was with Best Original Screenplay. The category was presented by Keanu Reeves and that alone already had me happy. I was convinced that Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood was going to win since, in general, it’s an award that Tarantino always wins when he’s nominated. You should have seen my reaction when Parasite won. Seeing Bong Joon-Ho and Han Jin-won stand up and be handed the Oscar made me realize that this could be the night:  Parasite could win big. Taika Waititi also made history by becoming the first indigenous person to win an Oscar, after winning for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit.

I was on a roll with the rest of the predictions, I had only missed 2 so far, until Best Director came along. I was convinced that it was going to be Sam Mendes for 1917. The film had won everything (Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects) and it seemed to be locked in. I didn’t expect any surprises. Imagine the scream I let out when Bong Joon-Ho’s name was called. This was it, the moment I knew that the Oscars were doing something right that they would truly award Bong Joon-Ho Best Director, I was living for it.

By this point, my nerves were on high, Parasite had every piece to win. It had already won International Feature, and it might’ve ended up being like Roma, who won Best International Feature, but it didn’t win Best Picture. I thought it would be the same case, that the Academy would still award 1917 as Best Picture. My pick was still 1917, I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to be disappointed again.

But at exactly 12:27 AM Puerto Rico time, Jane Fonda stood on that stage and announced Parasite as the Best Picture. I lost it, I couldn’t believe it. The entire cast was in shock as they went up to the stage to the standing ovation of everyone in the Dolby Theatre. History was made, Parasite became the first film that isn’t in English to win Best Picture. The Oscars did what needed to be done and awarded what was undoubtedly the best movie out of all the nominees. Am I ready to forgive them for Green Book? Probably.

I lost my predictions, but I was glad to be proven wrong.

That concludes our Road To Oscars special! It’s bittersweet as this is the last time I will be covering awards season for Her Campus UPR since it is my last semester with them! It’s been a fun ride and let us know your thoughts on the 2020 Oscars!

Gabriela is currently an English Major at the University of Puerto Rico. When she isn't reading fantasy books, she can be found writing them. She is a Vegetarian Hufflepuff that loves zombie fiction, an irony in itself. An aspiring filmmaker, she one day dreams of winning an Oscar for her films.
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