Last night's Academy Awards — which took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles — was filled with memorable speeches, hilarious gags, funny moments and social manifestations expressed through fashion.
For the second year in a row, the Oscars had no official host. Still, luckily we had great laughs by former presenters like Steve Martin and Chris Rock who joked about the lack of racial diversity and female nominations in acting and directing categories, respectively.
Rock cracked a joke saying, "Cynthia [Erivo] did such a great job in 'Harriet' hiding black people that the Academy got her to hide all the black nominees." While regarding gender they said, "what's lacking from the directing nominees? Vaginas!".
Indeed, the absence of women in the Best Director category not only caused a public outcry but was also condemned by Natalie Portman. She protested by wearing a custom-made Dior gown with a cape that had the names of female directors ignored by the Academy embroidered in gold.
Portman homaged Lulu Wang, director of The Farewell; Greta Gerwig, of Little Women; Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim; Kasi Lemmons for Harriet; Lorene Scafaria, for Hustlers; Marielle Heller for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Alma Har' el of Honey Boy.
For her part, Jane Fonda —who has been arrested five times in Washington, D.C. for campaigning against climate change— delivered a crucial message of beauty and power both through her appearance and words:
"Nothing is more important than raising awareness, right?," said the famous 82-year-old actress, sporting her hair in her natural grey. She wore her scarlet Elie Saab gown from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, while carrying her red protest coat, and announced it was the last new piece of clothing she would ever buy.
In this sense, the Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) organization showed promising results with its newly acquired partnership with Louis Vuitton. The French house dressed actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Léa Seydoux with sustainable designs, creating a high profile opportunity to draw attention to more responsible consumption patterns. And judging by the social media mentions, it seemed to be working!!
Then, another kind of social manifestation came from Bily Porter who embarked on the mission of blurring the lines of gender. This year he wore a maxi skirt and gold feather top ensemble, after making headlines in 2019 when he walked the red carpet wearing a tuxedo dress by Christian Siriano.
But not everything was about protest and social issues at the Oscars. During the ceremony, we also enjoyed quirky moments, like Diane Keaton's envelope troubles while presenting the Original Screenplay award with Keanu Reeves. First, she tried to tear it open before the nominees had been announced. Then she dropped it against the microphone. Oh, adorable Diane!
Meanwhile, Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" had a hilarious moment when James Corden and Rebel Wilson made fun of themselves by dressing up as their characters when presenting the award for visual effects, for which the movie was widely criticized.
"As cast members for the motion picture 'Cats,' nobody more than us understand the importance of good visual effects," the actors said.
Then we had another Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio moment. Pitt won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood. And although his Oscar speech didn't have any Titanic jokes, you've got to admit that Pitt's and DiCaprio's brief but epic hug rendered the whole social media sphere emotional.
One of the best bits of the night was having the victory of an unexpected movie. Everyone anticipated that "1917" would take the evening's top award for Best Picture, but at the end, the critically acclaimed "Parasite" got the big win.
The film also received honours for best director, best foreign film, and best screenplay. "I'm speechless," said producer Kwak Sin-ae. "We never imagined this would happen. We are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now."