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Oscars 2020: The best viral moments from this year's Academy Awards

From Brad Pitt admitting he gets a little help writing his acceptance speeches to Bong Joon-ho's incredulity at getting a little gold statue

Natalie Portman's cape made more than just a fashion statement at the 92nd annual Academy Awards, the actress's Dior cape was embroidered with the names of worthy potential female Best Director nominees. EPA
Natalie Portman's cape made more than just a fashion statement at the 92nd annual Academy Awards, the actress's Dior cape was embroidered with the names of worthy potential female Best Director nominees. EPA

The Academy Awards are done and dusted for another year, and while stars of the screen are hitting the afterparties, us mere mortals are left digesting what just happened.

The 92nd annual ceremony, which took place at the Dolby Theatre in LA on Sunday, February 9, saw South Korean drama Parasite make history as the first non-English film to win Best Picture, while Joaquin Phoenix won his long-awaited first Oscar.

But among the myriad trophies, red-carpet glamour and teary acceptance speeches were a few choice moments which will be remembered long after the cameras stopped rolling.

With no further ado, here are the most viral-worthy moments that will come to define the Oscars 2020.

Natalie Portman's cape

Hollywood was in furore when the Academy Award nominations were revealed last month, with not a single female filmmaker recognised among the Best Director selection. Black Swan star Portman made her feelings about that clear on the night, stitching the names of some worthy potential nominees on to the cape of her custom Dior ensemble.

US-Israeli actress Natalie Portman wears a cape with the names of female film directors who were not nominated for Oscars as she arrives for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. / AFP / Robyn Beck
Natalie Portman wears a cape with the names of female film directors who were not nominated for Oscars. AFP

Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) were among the names included on the statement design.

Every time Bong Joon-ho was on stage

From actively encouraging a standing ovation for fellow Best Director nominee Martin Scorsese to telling Quentin Tarantino he loved him, never has the Oscars stage been so full of unadulterated joy and sincere gratitude as when the Parasite director was stood on it.

With the drama scooping four awards on the night, Bong got plenty of time in the spotlight, and won himself the honour of being the film industry's perma-ray of sunshine.

Our favourite moment has to be, though, the moment when he handed over the mic to writer Han Jin-won, after the pair won Best Original Screenplay. With his back to the audience, Bong clutched his golden statue and gave out a little, disbelieving giggle in arguably the purest moment of the night.

In close, second, however ...

For the purest moment of the night, is Roman Griffin Davis, 13, and Archie Yates, 10. The two young stars of Jojo Rabbit posed up a storm on the red carpet, jumping and waving for the cameras and looking 99.9 per cent happier to be there than most of the crowd.

Brad Pitt's honesty

The Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood actor has been one of the highlights of this awards season, treating the crowd to a fast-paced quip every time he picks up another trophy. "Hey Britain. Heard you just became single. Welcome to the club!" was his cracking opener at last week's Baftas. And while his speech as he scooped Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars was more emotive, with Pitt thanking his children and criticising the verdict of Trump’s impeachment trial, he still snuck in a few zingers.

“I’ll ride on your coattails any day, man – the view’s fantastic," he said to co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. However, backstage, Pitt admitted he gets a little assistance from pals when it comes to the oneliners – though disputed claims he uses a ghostwriter.

"I definitely write them, I have some friends who help with the laughs but it's got to come from the heart," Pitt said in the press room. "Historically, I've always been really tentative about speeches – they make me nervous – so this round I thought I'd put some real work into it and get comfortable so I put some effort into that."

Janelle Monae calling out a lack of diversity

The singer and Hidden Figures actress kicked this year's ceremony into gear with a high-octane opening number, where she sang and danced her way across the stage. The star also used the opportunity to criticise the Academy Awards' lack of nominations for female directors and people of colour, within moments of the ceremony starting.

"It's time to come alive," sang Monae in the opening number, "because the Oscars is so white!" The star was joined on stage by dancers dressed as characters from films with black leads, such as Dolemite Is My Name and Us, both of which failed to score nominations.

"Tonight, we celebrate all the amazing talent in this room," she also told the crowd. "We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films." Monae also gave a shout-out to Black History Month, making sure there was an inclusive element to the ceremony, if not in the awards' nominations.

Joaquin Phoenix's multi-threaded speech

There's a lot to unpick in the Best Actor winner's impassioned acceptance address, in which he urged for listeners to "fight against injustice", whether that be racism, inequality, animal rights and so forth. The Joker star also used the opportunity to admit he's been a "scoundrel", "selfish" and "hard to work with", before thanking Hollywood for giving him another chance.

The two most memorable moments, however, are his segue into the dairy industry, with the committed vegan criticising the use of a cow's milk "intended for her calf", and a nod to his late brother, River. "When he was 17, my brother [River] wrote this lyric. He said: 'run to the rescue with love and peace will follow'," said Phoenix before leaving the stage.

Keanu Reeve's date

US actor Keanu Reeves (R) and his mother Patricia Taylor arrive for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. / AFP / Robyn Beck
Keanu Reeves and his mother Patricia Taylor. AFP

The Matrix star isn't the first to take his mother as his plus-one to an awards ceremony (here's looking at you, Bradley and Leo), but these two definitely did it with the most style.

Billie Eilish's confused reaction

Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig were never going to give the driest, most copy-and-paste address when presenting the award for Best Costume Design. But when the comediennes broke into a musical, vaudeville-style sketch, one person in the audience seemed less than impressed: the 18-year-old Bad Guy singer.

Spike Lee's tribute to Kobe Bryant

US director Spike Lee attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 92nd Oscars at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on February 9, 2020. / AFP / Jean-Baptiste Lacroix
Spike Lee attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 92nd Oscars. AFP

Last year's Best Adapted Screenplay winner made a sartorial homage, with the help of Gucci, to 2018's Best Animated Short Film Oscar winner, Bryant. The basketball star, who died along with his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash last month, wore the number 24 jersey for the Los Angeles Lakers, a number emblazoned across the lapels and back of Lee's purple and yellow tux, the colours also a nod to the team.

The Idina Menzel jokes keep coming

Six years after John Travolta infamously flubbed the Frozen star's name at the Oscars (instead christening her Adele Dazeem), the gaffe is still raising laughs. Actor and rapper Utkarsh Ambudkar made a reference to the moment in his mid-ceremony recap – "her name is Idina Menzel, Mr Travolta" – while Menzel's co-star, Josh Gad, poked fun at the slip-up when announcing the singer's performance as part of the Original Song nominees.

"The incredible and talented Idina Menzel," said Gad, ahead of her taking to the stage, pronounced exactly as it is spelled."

The best accessory of the night

A lipstick, phone, credit cards and maybe a few tissues, that's what you'd expect to find in most handbags on a red carpet. However, nestled in Julia Butters's purse on Sunday night was something more commonly found in the 10-year-old's school lunch box. The Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood star packed a turkey sandwich for the ceremony, because she didn't "like some of the food here". This year, the Oscars served a plant-based menu in line with the vegan dishes offered up at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

Taika's ever-so-subtle sleight of hand

He won Best Adapted Screenplay for his World War Two dark comedy Jojo Rabbit, but Taika Waititi didn't spend the rest of the ceremony showing off about the accolade. The New Zealand director was caught slipping his golden statue under the chair in front during the televised awards. He was named and shamed by Marvel compatriot Brie Larson, who was sat across from the filmmaker and caught the moment on her Instagram Stories.

Updated: February 10, 2020 12:23 PM

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