‘Parasite’ breaks barriers and other Oscar 2020 Highlights

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This year’s Oscars showed how a traditional awards ceremony can highlight major films and stars, break barriers in entertainment, and uplift diverse voices. Members of the school community shared their thoughts on this year’s most memorable highlights.

Parasite

The popular film made headlines because it became the first non-English language movie to win an Oscar for Best Picture. It also won awards for Best Screenplay, Director, and International Feature Film. French teacher Caroline Lopera said, “As a foreign language teacher, I was very pleased to see a foreign language movie win…I think it leads the way for [movies from] other countries to maybe get a chance to win one day.”

Junior Madison Bitna said, “The film really makes you question the themes explored such as class struggles, and it is done in an interesting way. …For a film that does something so original in such an attentive way, it deserves the Oscars that it won.”

It’s rare that foreign language films are nominated for best picture as well as best foreign language film. Some films that have been nominated for both include Roma, Z , Life Is Beautiful, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Amour.

Natalie Portman’s Outfit

On the red carpet, Natalie Portman surprised attendees with her dress, which depicted the names of several female directors  who were not nominated for an Oscar. Many applauded her for representing a minority in the film industry, but Portman’s dress was also met with controversy. Sophomore Faith Grininon said, “I think it was a positive thing because it gave a chance for these… women to get some recognition.”

Performances

Throughout the show, various artists including Billie Eilish, Eminem, Elton John, Cynthia Erivo, Idina Menzel, and Randy Newman performed. Billie Eilish sang “Yesterday” by the Beatles for an emotional In Memoriam segment, in which those who passed away were recognized. Sophomore Kevin Nievecela said “[Eilish] was really good, and her voice was on point. [The song] fits her voice really well since her voice is soft and [sounds] melancholic.” Eminem gave a surprise performance of hissong, “Lose Yourself”17 years after the song won him an Oscar. Elton John also performed his Oscar nominated song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from his 2019 biopic Rocketman.

Additional reporting by Sumya Nur and Olivia Leon.

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