Advertisement

One for the ages: 7 historic firsts at the 2020 Oscars

Oscars 2020: ‘Parasite’ makes history winning Best Picture
WATCH: 'Parasite' made Oscars history, becoming the first non-English-language film to win Best Picture.

The 2020 Academy Awards made history on Sunday in many different ways.

Hollywood’s biggest stars descended on the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles for the film industry’s biggest night. The award show’s most famous nominees — from Scarlett Johansson to Cynthia Erivo and Saoirse Ronan — also brought their best in fashion to the red carpet.

And by the end of the night, diversity reigned supreme.

READ MORE: Oscars 2020 after-party outfits — All the best celebrity looks

Though many categories were still dominated by white and male nominees, the Oscars saw quite a few firsts this year, from historic wins to first-time presenters.

Here’s a roundup of the firsts at the 2020 Oscars:

Story continues below advertisement

The first non-English-language film to take home Best Picture

South Korean director Bong Joon Ho looked flabbergasted when his film, Parasite, was announced as the Best Picture winner. The drama became the first non-English-language movie to win the category in Oscars history.

Bong Joon Ho accepts the award for best director for ‘Parasite’ at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Bong Joon Ho accepts the award for best director for ‘Parasite’ at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

READ MORE: Keanu Reeves brings his mom to the 2020 Oscars red carpet

The first Maori person to win in a category

New Zealand filmmaker, actor and comedian Taika Waititi took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film Jojo Rabbit, which starred Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie and Sam Rockwell. Waititi, who is also Jewish, played Adolf Hitler in the film.

Taika Waititi accepts the Writing Adapted Screenplay award for ‘Jojo Rabbit’ onstage during the 92nd annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 9, 2020 in Hollywood, Calif.
Taika Waititi accepts the Writing Adapted Screenplay award for ‘Jojo Rabbit’ onstage during the 92nd annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 9, 2020 in Hollywood, Calif. Getty Images

READ MORE: Natalie Portman wears names of snubbed woman directors on Oscars 2020 red carpet

The first award presenter with Down syndrome

Zack Gottsagen, who starred alongside Shia LaBeouf in Peanut Butter Falcon, became the first person with Down syndrome to present at the Oscars. He and his co-star hit the stage together to announce the winner for Best Live-Action Short, which The Neighbors’ Window won.

Story continues below advertisement
Shia LaBeouf, left, and Zack Gottsagen present the award for Best Live-Action Short Film at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Shia LaBeouf, left, and Zack Gottsagen present the award for Best Live-Action Short Film at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

The first time a land acknowledgment has taken place at the Oscars

Another historic first for the evening came when Taika Waititi acknowledged the Indigenous Peoples upon whose land Hollywood sits.

When presenting the Academy’s honorary awards, the Maori-Jewish filmmaker said: “The academy would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, the Tataviam and the Chumash. We acknowledge them as the first peoples of this land on which the motion pictures community lives and works.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Oscars 2020 — Best and worst-dressed celebrities on the red carpet

The first Netflix original film to win an award

Laura Dern took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Marriage Story, also starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. The drama film became the first Netflix original to win at the Oscars.

Brad Pitt takes home his first Oscar for acting

The Hollywood heartthrob won the second Oscar of his career, but it was his first for acting. He took home the statue for his supporting role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. He won his first Academy Award in 2014 as a producer of 12 Years a Slave, which won Best Picture.

READ MORE: Oscars 2020 winners — Parasite makes Academy Awards history with big sweep

Pitt opened his acceptance speech with a political jab at U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, saying: “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.”

The first woman to conduct an Oscars orchestra

Irish composer and conductor Eimear Noone became the first woman to conduct an Oscars orchestra. The 42-piece orchestra played a medley of all the nominees before the award for Best Original Score was announced.

Story continues below advertisement

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

Oscars 2020 Recap
Oscars 2020 Recap