DUBAI: In a historic first, South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ has won the Oscar for Best Picture, marking the first time a non-English language film has taken home the top prize at the Academy Awards.
Earlier in the evening, British Oscar-winner Olivia Colman took to the stage to announce that Joaquin Pheonix won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards for his role in "Joker" while Renée Zellweger won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the for her portrayal of singing icon Judy Garland.
Meanwhile, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern won their first acting Oscars on Sunday, and “Parasite” also nabbed the Best International Feature Film award and its director Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar for Best Directing.
Dern took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as a ruthless divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story,” and dedicated it to her celebrity parents Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.
“This is the best birthday present ever,” said Dern, who will turn 53 on Monday.
Pitt was named best supporting actor for playing a charming stunt double in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” after having collected an armful of trophies earlier this year for the role. It was his first acting Oscar.
“I’m a bit gobsmacked to tell you the truth,” said Pitt, who recalled his early days starting out as an unknown actor.
“‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ - ain’t that the truth?,” he said, dedicating the Academy Award to his six children with former wife Angelina Jolie.
“Parasite” got off to strong start by winning the original screenplay Oscar.
The social satire about the wealth gap in South Korea also nabbed Best International Feature Film award and won its director the Best Director.
“American Factory,” about the decline of jobs in the industrial Midwest from former U.S. President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama’s new production company, won for best documentary.
Nazi satire “Jojo Rabbit” brought a best adapted screenplay Oscar for director, star and writer Taika Waititi.
Despite again having no formal host, the Oscars ceremony started with a surprise appearance by former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock, who delivered a string of barbed jokes about the lack of female directors and people of color among this year’s nominees.
“I thought there was something missing this year,” said Martin.
“Vaginas?” quipped Rock, to loud applause.
Rock pointed out Cynthia Erivo, who played slavery-era freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in “Harriet” and who was the only actor of color nominated this year.
“Cynthia did such a great job hiding black people that the academy got her to hide all the black nominees,” said Rock.
In another surprise, rapper Eminem took the Oscars stage to perform “Lose Yourself,” his 2003 Oscar-winning song from the movie “8 Mile.”
The nominees and winners are chosen by the 8,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.