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Everything you missed, from ‘Parasite’ to Brad Pitt

The 92nd annual Oscars has come and gone, with buzzy South Korean film “Parasite” snagging the best picture, making history as the first foreign-language film to win Hollywood’s top movie prize. 

Still, it was hard to ignore the Academy’s rather large elephant in the room.

The night marked a painfully desperate effort by the Academy to address a glaring diversity problem, and was otherwise a mix of mostly-expected acting wins in top categories by Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix and Renée Zellweger.

Whether you didn’t watch the telecast or took a bathroom break at an inopportune time, here are all the key moments you missed.

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‘Parasite’ scores big

If you had “Parasite” all over your Oscars bingo card, tonight was your night. The film earned nods for best picture, director, screenplay and best international feature, a new category that replaced foreign-language film. Bong Joon-ho thought he was done for the day after “Parasite” won international feature and was waiting to relax, he said onstage after accepting the award for best director. He spent much of his speech praising his fellow nominees. “Thank you, I will drink until next morning.” 

Bong Joon-ho accepts the award for best motion picture of the year for "Parasite" during the 92nd Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre.

Wow:Natalie Portman wears cape embroidered with names of snubbed female directors to Oscars

Diverse performers, if not nominees

The Academy tried to make up for this year’s nearly all-white slate of acting nominees, with many people of color moving the show along as presenters and performers – though its efforts looked more desperate than anything else.

Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter and a group of mostly black performers took the stage at the Dolby Theatre by storm as the show opened. Monáe began with a sweet ode to Mister Rogers – Tom Hanks was nominated for best supporting actor for playing him in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – then transitioned to a livelier performance of her song “Come Alive.”  

Janelle Monáe performs onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

Chris Rock and Steve Martin hammered the Academy, which made “Harriet” star Cynthia Erivo the only actor of color to be nominated.  Rock said Erivo did such a great job hiding black people in the movie, in which she played Harriet Tubman, that the Academy got her to hide all the black nominees. Later, Questlove served as DJ and actor Utkarsh Ambudkar rapped a recap of the show. 

Brad Pitt, Laura Dern win first Oscars

Brad Pitt finished up his awards-season sweep with his first acting win, for his supporting role as stuntman Cliff Booth in “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood,” and a less outrageous acceptance speech than  some others he’s given this season. He got political, saying the 45 seconds he had was 45 more than John Bolton had to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Laura Dern also won her first Oscar, as her mother, actress Diane Ladd, tearfully watched from the audience. Dern thanked Ladd and her father, Bruce Dern, calling them her “acting heroes.”   

Brad Pitt accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for his role in "Once Upon a Hollywood" during the 92nd Academy Awards.

Joaquin Phoenix makes touching plea 

The night of Oscar firsts ended with Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor for “Joker” and gave an impassioned plea for change in the world and the need for second chances. 

“I think that’s when we’re at our best: when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption,” he said. “That is the best of humanity.” 

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Brett Gonzalez
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