LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bong Joon Ho has won the best director Oscar for his class satire, â€œParasite.â€
The South Korean directorâ€™s acumen in creating a film about the intertwining of two families – one poor and another rich – has been roundly praised.
It is the first directing Oscar for Bong, whose previous films include â€œOkjaâ€ and â€œSnowpiercer.â€
â€œParasiteâ€ is among the contenders for best picture, the eveningâ€™s top prize.
Parasite” also took best original screenplay and best international film. Bong and co-writer Han Jin Won became the first Asian writers to take the screenplay prize, and â€œParasiteâ€ became the first Korean film to win an Oscar.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. APâ€™s earlier story follows below.
Brad Pitt won his first acting Oscar, Laura Dern collected best supporting actress and Bong Joon Ho’s â€œParasiteâ€ made history at a 92nd Academy Awards that largely stuck to the script.
Few categories were more certain coming into Sunday’s Oscars than best supporting actor, which Pitt has had locked down all awards season. While Pitt (who in 2014 shared in the best picture win for â€œ12 Years a Slave,â€ as was a producer) has regaled audiences with one-liners in the run-up to the Oscars, he began his comments on a political note.
â€œThey told me I have 45 seconds to speak, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,â€ said Pitt, alluding to the impeachment hearings. â€œI’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it.â€
Pitt said the honor had given him reason to reflect on his fairy-tale journey in the film industry, going back to when he moved to Los Angeles from Missouri. â€œOnce upon a time in Hollywood,” said Pitt. “Ain’t that the truth.â€
The South Korean class satire â€œParasite,” which many believe has a chance to upset the front-runner â€œ1917â€ for best picture, took best original screenplay and best international film. Bong and co-writer Han Jin Won became the first Asian writers to take the screenplay prize, and â€œParasiteâ€ became the first Korean film to win an Oscar. Should â€œParasiteâ€ win the night’s final award, it would be the first non-English language film to win best picture.
As it has for much of awards season, â€œParasiteâ€ appeared the favorite in the room. A standing ovation greeted Bong’s win for international film. â€œI am ready to drink tonight,â€ said Bong to roars from the crowd.
Earlier on the red carpet, Bong said of his his film’s border-breaking effect went beyond any particular honor. â€œRegardless of the outcome, I think the door has been opened,” he said. “I think as long as we continue this effort, the door will just open wider and wider.â€
Most of the early awards went according to forecasts, including Dern winning for her performance as a divorce attorney in Noah Baumbach’s â€œMarriage Story.â€ Accepting her first Oscar, Dern thanked her in-attendance parents, â€œmy legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.â€
For the 87th time, no women were nominated for best director this year, a subject that was woven into the entire ceremony – and even into some attendees’ clothing. Natalie Portman wore a cape lined with the names of female filmmakers who weren’t nominated for best director, including Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Mati Diop (“Atlantics”).
Coming on a rare rainy day in Los Angeles, the ceremony was soggy and song-heavy. Some performances, like Eminem’s performance of â€œLose Yourself,â€ were unexpected (and drew a wane response from Martin Scorsese). All of the song nominees performed, including Elton John who won with his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin for their â€œRocketmanâ€ tune.
The hostless ceremony opened on a note of inclusion, with Janelle Monae performing â€œA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoodâ€ and her own song, â€œCome Alive,â€ with an assist from Billy Porter. â€œIâ€™m so proud to be standing here as a black queer artist telling stories,” Monae said. “Happy Black History Month.â€
Two former Oscar hosts, Chris Rock and Steve Martin, provided the opening monologue. “An incredible demotion,” Martin called it. Martin also reminded that something was missing from this year’s directing nominees. â€œVaginas!” Rock replied.
There were milestones, nevertheless. In winning best adapted screenplay for his Nazi satire â€œJojo Rabbit,â€ the New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi became the first indigenous director ever to win an Oscar. He dedicated the award to â€œall the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art, dance and write stories.â€
â€œWe are the original storytellers,â€ Waititi said.
â€œJokerâ€ composer Hildur Gudnadottir became only the third woman to ever win best original score. â€To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music opening within, please speak up,” said Gudnadottir. “We need to hear your voices.”
Awards were spread around to all of the best-picture nominees, with the lone exception being Martin Scorsese’s 10-time nominee â€œThe Irishman.â€
â€œ1917,” acclaimed for its technical virtuosity, took awards for Roger Deakins’ cinematography, visual effects and sound mixing. The car racing throwback â€œFord v Ferrariâ€ was also honored for its craft, winning both editing and sound editing. Gerwig’s Louisa May Alcott adaptation â€œLittle Womenâ€ won for Jacqueline Durran’s costume design. â€œOnce Upon a Time … in Hollywoodâ€ for Barbara Ling’s production design.
Netflix came in with a leading 24 nominations. Along with the win for â€œMarriage Story,â€ the streamer’s â€œAmerican Factoryâ€ won best documentary. The film is the first release from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. No studio has spent more heavily this awards season than Netflix, which is seeking its first best picture win after coming up just shy last year with â€œRoma.â€
Pixar extended its domination of the best animated film category, winning for â€œToy Story 4.â€ It’s the 10th Pixar film to win the award and second â€œToy Storyâ€ film to do so, following the previous 2010 installment.
It was an early award for the Walt Disney Co. which despite last year amassing a record $13 billion in worldwide box office and owning the network the Oscars are broadcast on, played a minor role in the ceremony. The bulk of its awards came from 20th Century Fox (â€œFord v Ferrariâ€) and Fox Searchlight (â€œJojo Rabbitâ€), both of which the company took control of after its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox last year.
Disney’s ABC, which is broadcasting the show live, hoped a widely watched field of nominees – including the $1 billion-grossing â€œJoker,â€ up for a leading 11 awards – will help viewership. Last yearâ€™s show garnered 29.6 million viewers, a 12% uptick.
In a year of streaming upheaval throughout the industry, this yearâ€™s Oscar favorites were largely movies released widely in theaters. They also predominantly featured male characters and came from male directors.
After a year in which women made significant gains behind the camera, no female directors were nominated for best director. The acting categories are also the least diverse since the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite pushed the academy to remake its membership. Cynthia Erivo (â€œHarrietâ€) is the only actor of color nominated. Those results, which have been a topic in speeches through awards season, stand in contrast to research that suggests the most popular movies star more people of color than ever before.
The AP’s Amanda Lee Meyers contributed to this report.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP