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The 9 most interesting moments from the 2020 Oscars

Eminem performed onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Sunday.
Eminem performed onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Sunday.Kevin Winter/Getty

If you watched the 2020 Oscars ceremony on Sunday night, then you already know that (spoiler alert) “Parasite” was the first non-English language film to take home the best picture award.

However, if you didn’t have the patience to sit through all three-and-a-half hours of the awards show, here’s a quick rundown of the most interesting moments.

Steve Martin and Chris Rock’s opening

With the Oscars going hostless for the second year in a row, comedians Steve Martin and Chris Rock teamed up to open the awards show by mulling over why there was no ringleader.

“You know, I was thinking today, Chris, that we have both hosted the Oscars before — and this is such an incredible demotion,” Martin said to laughter. “They don’t really have hosts anymore — why is that?”

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“Twitter!” Rock exclaimed.

Politics was also on the table. Martin brought up the Oscar snafu from several years back, when the wrong name was read on live TV, adding, “but they have guaranteed this will not happen this year, because the Academy has switched to the new Iowa caucus app,” Martin joked, referring to the slow results in Iowa’s caucuses earlier this past week.

Rock also gave a shoutout to Mahershala Ali, who has two Oscars. “You know what that means when the cops pull him over? Nothing,” Rock said.

The comedians also singled out Amazon owner Jeff Bezos. “He’s got cash. When he writes a check, the bank bounces,” Rock said. “Jeff Bezos is so rich, he got divorced, and he’s still the richest man in the world. He saw ‘Marriage Story’ and thought it was a comedy.” (Bezos, for his part, smiled and laughed good-naturedly at the ribbing.)

When Rock asked Martin if he had any jokes about Bezos, Martin replied, “No, I like getting my packages on time.”

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The pair also pointed out the inequality of nominees along gender lines. “There’s so many great directors nominated this year,” Rock said.

“I don’t know, Chris, I felt like there was something missing this year,” Martin replied.

“Vaginas?” Rock asked.

Both comedians agreed: “Yeah, yeah.”

Rock also pointed out that actress Cynthia Erivo “did such a great job in ‘Harriet’ hiding Black people that the Academy got her to hide all the Black nominees.”

“Well, we’ve had a great time not hosting tonight,” Martin said at the end of the bit.

Brad Pitt gets political

As Brad Pitt accepted the Oscar for best supporting actor in “Once Upon a Time. . . In Hollywood,” the actor wasted no time jumping into politics.

“They told me I have 45 seconds to speak, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” said Pitt, referring to the impeachment hearings. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”

Pitt also gave a shoutout to co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, telling him, “Leo, I’ll ride on your coattails any day, man. The view’s fantastic.”

Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig delight the audience with an acting/singing bit

Beloved “Saturday Night Live” stars Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig took the stage to present for production design, delivering an over-the-top bit about how they couldn’t even speak because they were so upset. They turned away from the mic -- only to turn back several seconds later to tell the audience it was just an act.

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"We just know there are a lot of directors here tonight, and. . . " Wiig trailed off, as the camera cut over to Martin Scorcese smiling.

“We just wanted them to know we do more than comedy,” Rudolph finished.

The pair also sang as they presented the next award for costume design, stitching together iconic phrases about clothing.

It’s apparently Laura Dern’s birthday

Call it the age of Aquarius.

As Laura Dern accepted the award for best supporting actress for her role as a divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story,” the actress called it “the best birthday present ever.”

A quick Google search shows that, indeed, Dern turned 53 on Sunday.

She also thanked her famous actor parents, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, during her speech.

“Some say never meet your heroes, but I say if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents,” she said. “You got game.”

All the Elsas and Annas from around the world

Idina Menzel, the famed Broadway actress who also sang hit songs like “Let it Go” in the “Frozen” movie series, took the stage to perform “Into the Unknown,” a song featured in “Frozen 2.”

As the song built and hit the titular words, other women took to the stage, singing in their respective languages — from Japanese to Thai to German to Castilian. The result was a beautiful, goose-bump-raising rendition of the familiar soaring melody.

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According to the Associated Press, as the Oscars cut to the commercials after the song concluded, the women received a bonus round of applause. The women were still on the stage congratulating one another, laughing and hugging; Menzel stepped to the front of the stage, gave a quick curtsy, and the crowd loudly clapped as they all sailed off the stage together.

Eminem gave a surprise performance

Guess who’s back. . . back again.

After a long windup montage showing iconic musical moments in movies, Eminem popped up from underneath the stage to perform “Lose Yourself,” which won the Oscar for best original song in 2003 from the soundtrack for “8 Mile.”

The appearance was a big deal for the awards show after Eminem didn’t perform as a nominee in ’03. Eminem tweeted shortly after, referencing the song’s lyrics as he added, “Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.”

Yahoo! reported that Eminem skipped the awards show in 2003 for a simple reason: He didn’t think he was going to win.

“I just felt like I had no chance of winning because, you know, when I heard I was nominated, I thought that was for actors,” he said in a 2007 interview with “Behind the Boards, according to Yahoo. “I was not sure what exactly Grammy or Oscar meant, what certain awards meant.”

Initial reactions from some of those in the audience (and on Twitter) appeared to be confusion, but by the end of the song, many were seen head-banging and singing along. Eminem received a rousing standing ovation as the song finished.

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Joaquin Phoenix had another interesting speech

As he accepted the award for best actor for his role in “Joker,” Joaquin Phoenix started off his speech innocuously, but it soon took an interesting turn — reminiscent of his awkward speech at the Golden Globes in early January.

On Sunday night, Phoenix began by saying that had “been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively.” He said that “we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world” and that many are guilty of “an egocentric worldview, the belief that we’re the center of the universe.”

“We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,” he said.

He also admitted that he has been a “scoundrel”: “I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with and I’m grateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance and I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other.”

He wrapped up his speech by invoking his late older brother, River Phoenix, saying, “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. He said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.’ Thank you.”

‘I’m ready to drink tonight’

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” went on to win a total of four awards at Sunday’s Oscars. However, in his first appearance on stage, after an interpreter translated Bong’s acceptance speech, he declared in English: “I am ready to drink tonight.” The statement prompted uproarious approval from the audience.

When Bong later accepted the award for best director, he again said in English: “Now I’m ready to drink until tomorrow.”

Lights go down on ‘Parasite’ winners accepting best picture award

As a woman accepting the award for best picture seemed to wrap up her speech, the stage’s spotlights dimmed on the winners and brightened on presenter Jane Fonda, leading many in the audience to express their discontent in disappointed “Awwws."

In the front row, Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron could be seen gesturing for stage managers to turn the light back on, and leading a chant: “Up! Up! Up!”

When the lights finally shone back on the winners, the audience cheered. Another woman then stepped up to the mic, praising the director in English.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss