6 winners and 5 losers from the 2020 Oscars

Winners: Parasite! Non-American directors! Eminem! Losers: Netflix! 1917!
The 2020 Oscars ended on a triumphant note, with Parasite becoming the first non-English-language film to take home the trophy for Best Picture. The history-making moment felt as if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might be moving forward from its often hidebound traditions, albeit incredibly fitfully. (This was still a year when diversity was discussed more than it was actually displayed, lest we forget.)

But Parasite’s unprecedented win also capped off a show that was weird and unfocused far too often, with a long running time that only added to the aggravation. Yes, many of the winners were cool, and Parasite’s Best Picture win retroactively gave the entire evening an air of historic importance. But in the moment, it was dull, dull, dull to watch.

So who were the winners of this year’s ceremony, beyond Parasite? And who were the losers — beyond Netflix, which tossed tons of money after what ended up being two Oscar wins? Well, the Vox culture team has analyzed the awards and come away with these six winners and five losers from the 92nd Academy Awards, starting with the biggest winner of them all ...

Parasite went into the night with six nominations, and ended up winning four major awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, International Feature Film, and the biggest award of the night, Best Picture. It also made history, becoming the first South Korean film to win the Best International Feature Film category (which was previously known as Best Foreign Language Film) and the first non-English-language film to win Best Picture. Topping off the night was seeing Parasite’s humble and very gracious director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho thank his cast, his supporters, and his fellow nominees at every opportunity. —Alex Abad-Santos

Loser: Netflix
Netflix, by some estimates, spent well over $100 million on its 2020 Oscar campaigns. Though the streamer refuted that number, it was clear that the company — which joined the Motion Picture Association of America prior to the 2019 Oscars, solidifying its position as one of Hollywood’s biggest players — was pouring resources into its awards slate. Last year, the company proved it could be a heavy hitter at the awards, with Roma winning three of its 10 nominations.

But this year, Netflix wanted more, and released a hefty pool of possible awards contenders. Typically, studios will back a movie’s awards campaign to the tune of $5 million to $20 million. Industry insiders estimated that Netflix was spending at least $20 million apiece on its two biggest contenders: Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. Netflix also nabbed nominations for Klaus, I Lost My Body, American Factory, and The Two Popes.

But it only took home two Oscars: one for documentary American Factory, and one for Laura Dern in Marriage Story, who was considered a lock to win the Supporting Actress category from the start of awards season. The Irishman was shut out (even though Parasite director Bong Joon-ho gave a lengthy shoutout to Scorsese in his Best Director speech, resulting in a standing ovation for Scorsese).

There are probably a few reasons Netflix couldn’t overcome the Oscars hurdle this year, despite its massive spending. One was simply the unusually good slate of nominated films it competed against in many categories. The other is the likelihood of lingering anti-Netflix bias from Academy members who see Netflix’s attempts to disrupt the filmmaking industry as harmful to the artform and the movie business.

Still, Netflix seems bent on winning big awards in the future, including the elusive Best Picture win — and we’ll be hearing from it in future awards seasons. —Alissa Wilkinson

Winner: Jokes about Hollywood advocating for representation and diversity without making real change

Without a host, the Oscars opened with Steve Martin and Chris Rock taking the reins and delivering an opening monologue of sorts. While most of the jokes revolved around Martin’s age and him not knowing any of the 2020 Oscar nominees, the duo did roast the Academy for not nominating any women directors and the lack of nonwhite actors recognized in the acting categories.

Later in the evening, the trio of Brie Larson, Gal Gadot, and Sigourney Weaver presented the award for Best Original Score but preceded it with a nice speech about how important it is to recognize the strong women in our lives and in our world.

“We just want to stand here together and say all women are superheroes,” Weaver said — a nod to how she, Larson, and Gadot have all played superheroes and action heroes onscreen.

The Oscars also nodded toward inclusivity by bringing out international actresses who voiced Elsa in international translations of Frozen 2 to sing “Into the Unknown” in their respective languages. It felt like the Academy did recognize its blind spots in representation, and while the night was full of positive gestures, these moments of cognizance won’t really mean much if the Oscars don’t improve so that these jokes and moments of ribbing itself don’t have to exist. —AAS

Without a host, the Oscars opened with Steve Martin and Chris Rock taking the reins and delivering an opening monologue of sorts. While most of the jokes revolved around Martin’s age and him not knowing any of the 2020 Oscar nominees, the duo did roast the Academy for not nominating any women directors and the lack of nonwhite actors recognized in the acting categories.

Later in the evening, the trio of Brie Larson, Gal Gadot, and Sigourney Weaver presented the award for Best Original Score but preceded it with a nice speech about how important it is to recognize the strong women in our lives and in our world.

“We just want to stand here together and say all women are superheroes,” Weaver said — a nod to how she, Larson, and Gadot have all played superheroes and action heroes onscreen.

The Oscars also nodded toward inclusivity by bringing out international actresses who voiced Elsa in international translations of Frozen 2 to sing “Into the Unknown” in their respective languages. It felt like the Academy did recognize its blind spots in representation, and while the night was full of positive gestures, these moments of cognizance won’t really mean much if the Oscars don’t improve so that these jokes and moments of ribbing itself don’t have to exist. —AAS

Probably the poor CGI artists behind Cats did not appreciate that one. But it’s a toss-up as to whether Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy — who won the Visual Effects Oscar for 1917 — felt it stepped on their moment. What do you think? —Constance Grady

Winner: The tiny distributor Neon
The 2020 Best Picture nominees were dominated by giant corporations. Netflix released The Irishman and Marriage Story. Disney released Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari through its various subsidiaries. (Jojo Rabbit was released via Searchlight Pictures, a boutique label with a substantial degree of autonomy but still one owned by Disney.) Little Women and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood came from Sony. 1917 came from Universal. Joker came from Warner Bros.

So eight of the nine Best Picture contenders were distributed by either one of the big six studios or a scrappy upstart named Netflix. Which is to say: After much of the 2010s’ Oscar narrative was dominated by smaller distributors, the 2020 Oscars seemed like a return to the days of big studios dominating everything.

But then the smallest distributor in the race — Neon (which is affiliated with the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain) — won the biggest prize of all with Parasite, which also picked up three additional awards to win four in total, the most for any movie of the night. To whatever degree the Oscars are headed for a future where it’s, say, Netflix vs. Disney vs. Universal vs. Warner Bros. (an incredibly likely scenario within the next few years), that future didn’t arrive in 2020.

What’s more, Neon managed to pull off a campaign where Parasite stood as the underdog candidate everyone generally liked all season long. Even if it wasn’t any given voter’s favorite movie of the year, it frequently landed in their top three — a powerful position to hold in a preferential ballot race, where marginal contenders fall by the wayside with every new count.

Whatever the strategy, Neon figured out a way to make an unlikely South Korean thriller about class conflict the Best Picture winner in a year when it felt like a giant corporation would waltz to the top prize without much trouble. Count one up for the underdog. —Emily VanDerWerff

Winner: Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig’s audition tape (plus all our GIF libraries)

As we’ll get into below, this hostless Oscars struggled a bit to find its voice. But Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, who presented the awards for Production Design and Costume design, offered us all the personality and direction this listless ceremony needed for just a few precious minutes.

“There are a lot of directors here tonight,” Wiig began with a knowing smirk, and with that in mind, she and Rudolph demonstrated to the rest of us that they were weren’t just onstage to present. They were there to audition.

Article Source:https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/2/10/21130901/oscars-2020-winners-losers-parasite-netflix-eminem

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