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Bong Joon Ho Best Director ABC.png

Joaquin Phoenix, Bong Joon-ho, Taika Waititi & More: The Best Oscar Speeches of 2020

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | February 10, 2020 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | February 10, 2020 |

Bong Joon Ho Best Director ABC.png

The 92nd Academy Awards concluded in spectacular fashion as the Oscars made history in celebrating Bong Joon-ho and his masterpiece Parasite. In an evening that was mostly pretty predictable, especially when it came to the acting wins, the domination of Parasite was a true delight. The film became the first movie not in the English language to win Best Picture and Director Bong ended up taking home no fewer than four Oscars. He kicked off his hot streak by beating Rian Johnson and Quentin Tarantino to win Best Original Screenplay. As always, he was accompanied by his amazing translator, Sharon Choi.

Then, as expected, Parasite won Best International Feature, so Bong got back on stage. You can tell by his and the crowd’s response that everyone was sure that he wouldn’t be returning to that spot later in the show. Bong was just ready to party.

Side note, but isn’t it completely bonkers that Parasite is the first South Korean film to ever be nominated in this category, let alone be the winner? How is that possible?! Do Park Chan-wook and Lee Chang-dong mean nothing to these people?

Best Director was a tight race, with many — myself included — assuming that Sam Mendes would take it home for 1917. Once again, #BongHive had different ideas.

Bong paid tribute to his fellow nominees, but especially Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, the latter of whom has been one of his biggest American supporters. He ended his third speech of the evening by declaring, ‘I will drink until next morning.’ We celebrate legends here.


Does anyone know Bong’s Venmo address? I’d like to throw in a few quid to help fund his bar tab for the rest of the year. That roar of the crowd made me instantly start crying. What a night.

Outside of Parasite, there were a lot of interesting speeches. Joaquin Phoenix topped off his awards season victory lap by taking home Best Actor for Joker (but really, it’s for the past decade of his career, from The Master onwards.) He’s been very interesting to watch this Oscar season thanks to his unpredictable speeches and willingness to get weird and/or political. This acceptance speech didn’t quite rival his BAFTAs one, but he did speak at length in a very Phoenix-esque manner of awkwardness and unwieldy length about the causes he’s most passionate about, including animal rights, and how the world is much better when we come together and learn from one another. He ended the evening by quoting his brother, the late great River Phoenix, and clearly the moment was deeply emotional for him. I cried. I cried a lot last night, not gonna lie.

The always-entertaining Taika Waititi cracked a few jokes and spoke out for indigenous rights and storytelling when he won his Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit. Like any smart man, he also thanked his mother.

Joker composer Hildur Guðnadottir won Best Original Score and gave a shout out to all the young women who want to make music. True story: Thanks to Joker and Chernobyl, Guðnadottir has taken home an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar in the space of a year. Go get that Tony award!

One of the most affecting speeches of the evening came from Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver, the team behind Best Animated Short winner Hair Love, as they talked about the importance of diversity, especially in children’s entertainment, and destigmatizing black hair. If you haven’t seen this wonderful short, you can watch it on YouTube now!

What was your highlight of the evening? Who gave your favorite Oscar speech of 2020? Do you plan to get as drunk as Bong Joon-ho? Let us know in the comments!

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

Header Image Source: YouTube // ABC