A record-breaking year for the Academy Awards

Every year, audiences marvel at how Pixar always manages to walk away with at least one award. How many movies did Pixar even put out last year? Like two? Even so, Toy Story 4 took home the award for Best Animated Feature. Some of this year’s winners were predictable, but the 2020 Academy Awards did break from tradition in several categories. 

One victory that was unsurprising for many people was Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor in a Leading Role in Joker. Phoenix’s performance as the newest incarnation of the classic DC villain disturbed audiences so much that it put an Oscar in his hand. The category did have come stiff competition, including Adam Driver for his role in Marriage Story and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Nevertheless, Phoenix took home his fourth Oscar.

Winning an Oscar is a pretty good indicator that a film is successful. Winning four Oscars and making Academy Award history is a pretty good indicator that a film is substantially better than its competitors. Parasite, a Korean drama/mystery picture, received the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film, and is the first non-English language film in Oscar history to win Best Picture. The movie’s director, Bong Joon-ho, won all three of the categories in which he had a nomination. The record breaking doesn’t stop there: Parasite was also the first film from South Korea to be nominated for and win Best Foreign Language Film. 

With some expected victories and well-deserved record breaking, 2020’s Academy Awards are one for the books.


Category  Winner
Best Picture Parasite (directed by Bong Joon-ho)
Best Actor in a Leading Role Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Best Actress in a Leading Role Renée Zellweger (Judy)
Best Director Bong Joon-ho (Parasite)
Best Original Screenplay Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won (Parasite)
Best International Feature FIlm Parasite (directed by Bong Joon-ho)
Best Original Song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Elton John and Bernie Taupin)
Best Supporting Actor Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Best Original Music Score Joker (directed by Todd Phillips)
Best Supporting Actress Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Best Adapted Screenplay Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)
Best Animated Feature Toy Story 4 (directed by Josh Cooley)
Best Production Design Nancy Haigh and Barbara Ling (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Best Sound Mixing  Stuart Wilson and Mark Taylor (1917)
Best Cinematography Roger Deakins (1917)
Best Costume Design Jacqueline Durran (Little Women)
Best Animated Short Film Hair Love (Matthew A. Cherry and Bruce W. Smith)
Best Documentary Feature American Factory (directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar)
Best Film Editing Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker (Ford v Ferrari)
Best Visual Effects 1917 (directed by Sam Mendes)
Best Sound Editing Donald Sylvester (Ford v Ferrari)
Best Live Action Short Film The Neighbors’ Window (directed by Marshall Curry)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling Kazuhiro Tsuji, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker (Bombshell)
Best Short Documentary Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) (directed by Carol Dysinger)