“Parasite,” a dark social satire from South Korea, won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday, making history as the first film in a language other than English to claim the movie industry’s highest honor.
It was a remarkable outcome for a film that played with subtitles in the United States, beating movies by major studios and Hollywood veterans such as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. The win also came at the end of an awards season that had been criticized for lack of diversity.
The ceremony, held without an official host, was peppered with jokes and sarcastic commentary about the exclusion of women from the directing category and the list of 20 acting nominees that included just one person of color.
The acting Oscars went as expected. Joaquin Phoenix won best actor for playing a failing clown who finds fame through violence in the dark comic-book tale “Joker,” and Renee Zellweger was named best actress for her performance as an ageing Judy Garland in the musical biopic “Judy.”
Laura Dern took the supporting actress Oscar, her first Academy Award, for playing a ruthless divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story.”
But Netflix movie “The Irishman” – a costly Mafia saga directed by Scorsese that had 10 Oscar nominations and starred Hollywood veterans Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci – came away empty-handed.
Elton John won best original song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from his biopic “Rocketman,” which he performed at Sunday night’s ceremony. And American teen Billie Eilish, who won five Grammys last month, sang the Beatles hit ballad “Yesterday” for the in memoriam segment.