Janelle Monáe's opening number
Janelle Monae’s performance began with a tribute to Mister Rogers and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and then, well -- came alive as a performance of her single "Come Alive" with a little help from Billy Porter for good measure. Monáe made sure to pointedly thank "all the female talent in the room" that had gone unrecognized in the nominations.
Natalie Portman's statement attire
You know how the Oscars is, erm -- very male? Well, Natalie Portman’s cape wasn’t. Embroidered into the actress’s cape were the names of female directors she thought were snubbed at the Oscars: Little Women director Greta Gerwig, The Farewell director Lulu Wang, and others. “I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,” the actress told Amy Kaufman of the LA Times.
Steven Martin and Chris Rock's not-quite-a-monologue monologue
Rock and Martin’s witty badinage spared no victims, targeting Brad Pitt, Mahershala Ali, Martin Scorsese and Jeff Bezos. “He’s got cash,” said Rock of Bezos. “When he writes a check, the bank bounces.”
Brad Pitt's speech
Brad Pitt used his Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech as an opportunity to take a political swipe. “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” said the Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodactor referring to the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
Laura Dern saying the Laura Dern-dest things
“Noah wrote a movie about love, and about breaching divisions in the name and in the honor of family and home and hopefully, for all of us, in the name of our planet,” said Laura Dern upon winning an Oscar for her role in Marriage Story. She later added in keeping with a central theme of the night, “If I could give this Oscar to Greta Gerwig, I would do it right now!”
Hair Love's animation win
“We have a firm belief that representation matters deeply,” said Hair Love producer Karen Rupert Toliver upon receiving the Oscar for Animated Short. “We wanted to normalize black hair,” added director Matthew A. Cherry.
Taika Waititi's dedication
As he accepted the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay, Taika Waititi said, “I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original storytellers, and we can make it here as well.”
Hanks does Douglas
“I am Spartacus,” yelled Tom Hanks at the end of his presentation in a tribute to actor Kirk Douglas who passed away earlier this month at 103.
Cynthia Erivo's pipes
In a moving performance, Cynthia Erivo sang “Stand Up” from her film Harriet, in which she plays abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
The 8 Mile redux
Eminem sang “Lose Yourself” in a throwback to the 2003 Oscars, in which it won Best Original Song for 8 Mile at a ceremony the rapper did not attend. “Sorry it took me 18 years to get here,” he later tweeted, evidently having found himself.
Joaquin Phoenix, trading in jokes for emotions
“When we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment,” said Phoenix in an acceptance speech that spanned injustice, environmental injustice and cancel culture. He also quoted a lyric written by his late brother, River: "'Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow."
Renée Zellweger, in excelsis
“This past year of celebrating Judy Garland across generations and across cultures has been a really cool reminder that our heroes unite us,” said Renee Zellweger upon accepting the Oscar for Lead Actress for her performance in Judy. “When we look to our heroes, we agree, and that matters.”
Bong Joon Ho's historic haul
Not one, not two, not three, but four Oscars—Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best International Feature Film and Best Picture—went to Bong Joon Ho's Parasite, the first non-English-language film to win the big prize of the night. It was also the first International Film win for South Korea. Bong took the attention in stride. “What the fuck is going on?” the South Korean director aptly remarked.
The 2020 Oscars are finally in the rear-view mirror, and now it’s time to assess the thrills, turns and triumphs of Hollywood’s biggest night. Click through to revisit the 92nd Academy Awards in photos, complete with all the moments that defined the night where Parasite ran away with four Oscars and even Eminem made a surprise appearance.