South Korean film Parasite has made history, becoming the first foreign language film to take the top prize at the Oscars.


Bong Joon Ho’s subtitled black comedy won the most gongs of the night, taking home four in total.

It’s a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has never seen a non-English language film win best picture.

It’s also the first ever Korean film to take home an Oscar.

While many thought Sam Mendes’ wartime epic 1917 would nab the prize, it was the word-of-mouth box office smash that took home the statuette on the night.

Joon Ho’s seventh feature film tackles capitalism, greed and class discrimination.

An emotional Joon Ho said his film had opened the door for non-English films at the Academy Awards.

As well as best film, it also took home best international original screenplay, best international feature film and best director.

Accepting the prize for his first award of the night, Joon Ho dedicated it to his home country South Korea and said it was a great honour to have been chosen by the Academy.

Taking to the stage a second time to accept best international feature film, Joon Ho broke away from his trusty translator to joke that he was bloody ready to drink.

By the time he moved onto his third award – best director – a bemused looking Joon Ho admitted he had thought he was done for the day and could relax. But more was to come.

He payed homage to fellow directors and nominees Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino – both of whom he credited as inspiration in his own directing.

He said as as a young filmmaker he carved the Scorsese quote – the most personal is the most creative – into his heart.

With another classic film reference – Texas Chainsaw Massacre – he magnanimously said he’d like to cut the award into five and share it with all the nominees.

He added that he would now drink until tomorrow.

When Joon Ho stepped up to collect the biggest prize of the night – best picture – he was able to take his cast and crew along with him to collect the prize.

At one point during their acceptance speech the stage lights went down, leading the audience to chant for them to go back on – which they duly did – as the Parasite cast finished giving their thanks for the biggest prize of the night.

The Oscars have a notorious 45-second speech rule, after which artists can face being ‘played off’ by the orchestra.

Speaking to journalists following the ceremony, Joon Ho said the big win as like a dream.

While French film The Artist did win best picture back in 2011, the film was mainly silent, making it largely seen as a film of ‘no-language’.

Away from Parasite’s surprise best picture win, many of the other big categories went to the winners everyone was expecting.

Joaquin Phoenix took home best actor for his portrayal of Crown Prince Of Crime Arthur Fleck in Joker, using his acceptance speech to again highlight humankind’s mistreatment of the planet. It’s his first Oscar win.

Phoenix called upon us all to re-connect with nature, and question such processes as industrial milk farming.

He told the audience: I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality.

I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice.

The 45-year-old star also became tearful as he remembered his brother actor River Phoenix who died aged 23 in 1993.

He concluded his acceptance speech with a personal memory: When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow’.

In her second Oscar win, Renee Zellweger took home best actress for her transformation into Judy Garland.

She had widely been seen as the one to beat, and paid tribute to the Wizard Of Oz star as she picked up her statuette.

In the best supporting actor and actress category, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern were chosen by the Academy, as was widely expected.

While Pitt has been leading the laughs at all the awards leading up to the Oscars, he took a more serious approach while accepting his first acting Oscar.

He took a political swipe at Senate Republicans for refusing to allow former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in US president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

He said: They tell me I have only got 45 seconds, that is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week. I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it and in the end the adults do the right thing.

He also thanked his six children, saying they colour everything I do.

The runner-up movie of the night was the previously expected favourite 1917.

The one-shot First World War epic took home three awards in total: best cinematography, best sound mixing and best visual effects.

Despite being the most nominated film of the night, with 11 nods, Todd Phillips’ Joker ended up taking just two gongs home, with best original score as well as Phoenix’s lead actor win.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood took home two prizes, with best production design adding to Pitt’s best supporting actor recognition.

Ford V Ferrari, directed by James Mangold, also took two Oscars in total – best film editing and best sound editing.

Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Jay Roach’s Bombshell and Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman all picked up one award apiece.

Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin accepted Rocketman’s best original song prize, for I’m Gonna Love Me Again.

After playing the song earlier in the ceremony, an emotional Sir Elton gave a shout out to his two sons – Zachary and Elijah – as he picked up his first Oscar.

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(c) Sky News 2020: Oscars 2020: Parasite makes history as it wins best picture