Taika Waititi's Academy Awards shout out to Indigenous youth

Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)

Vincent Schilling

Oscar wins include ‘1917,’ Joaquin Phoenix and Renée Zellweger and ‘Parasite’ as Best Picture

Māori director Taika Waititi received the coveted golden Oscar Sunday evening at the 92nd Academy Awards, which took place in Los Angeles on February 9th and aired on ABC.

Waititi was awarded the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film "Jojo Rabbit." He was competing against four other strong nominated films including "The Irishman," "Joker," "Little Women" and “The Two Popes.”

During his acceptance speech, Waititi thanked his mother for introducing him to the book adapted to the screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit,” then he dedicated the Oscar to Indigenous youth.

"This is really great and I dedicate this to all the Indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original storytellers and we can make it here, as well, thank you” said Waititi before stepping off stage amidst gracious applause.

In addition to receiving the Oscar, Waititi also served as a presenter at the awards and acknowledged this year's Governor’s Award’s recipients, to include Cherokee actor Wes Studi, who was honored with an Oscar for his lifetime body of work in the film industry in 2019.

(Previous story: For poignancy and authenticity’ Wes Studi to receive Oscar on Sunday’s Governors Awards)

Waititi also gave a land acknowledgment to the original Native peoples of California.

"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 picture community lives and works,” said Waititi. “And now it is my honor this past year’s recipients at the Governor’s Awards, at that ceremony, honorary Oscars were presented to actor Wes Studi, and directors David Lynch and Lina Wertmüller.”

Waititi's "Jojo Rabbit" was nominated for six Academy Awards.

(See related: Six Oscar nominations for ‘Jojo Rabbit’ including Best Picture)

Other big wins for the evening included “1917” which received three Oscars for Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing, and Joaquin Phoenix for Actor in a Leading Role in “Joker” and Renée Zellweger for Actress in a Leading Role in “Judy.”

During Phoenix's acceptance speech, he also recognized Indigenous rights as well as a call for social action.

"I think whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or Indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice; against the belief that one nation, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity," he said.

“Parasite” directed by Bong Joon Ho, was the big winner for the evening and received Oscars for Writing (Original Screenplay), Best International Feature Film, Directing and Best Picture.

The win for Best Picture was historic for The Academy Awards and for “Parasite,” as it is the first foreign-language film in history to win an Oscar for Best Picture.

The complete list of nominations and winners are below. The winners are in bold.

Best Picture

"Ford v Ferrari"
"The Irishman"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Joker"
"Little Women"
"Marriage Story"
"1917"
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood"
"Parasite"- Winner

Actor in a Leading Role

Antonio Banderas “Pain and Glory”
Leonardo DiCaprio “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood”
Adam Driver “Marriage Story”
Joaquin Phoenix “Joker” - Winner
Jonathan Pryce “The Two Popes”

Actress in a Leading Role

Cynthia Erivo “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan “Little Women”
Charlize Theron “Bombshell”
Renée Zellweger “Judy” - Winner

Actor in a Supporting Role

Tom Hanks “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Anthony Hopkins “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino "The Irishman"
Joe Pesci "The Irishman"
Brad Pitt “Once upon a Time...in Hollywood” - Winner

Actress in a Supporting Role

Kathy Bates “Richard Jewell”
Laura Dern “Marriage Story” - Winner
Scarlett Johansson “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh “Little Women”
Margot Robbie “Bombshell”

Animated Feature Film

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body“
“Klaus“
“Missing Link“
“Toy Story 4“ - Winner

Cinematography

"The Irishman" Rodrigo Prieto
"Joker" Lawrence Sher
"The Lighthouse" Jarin Blaschke
"1917" Roger Deakins - Winner
“Once Upon a time...in Hollywood” Robert Richardson

Costume Design

"The Irishman" Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
"Jojo Rabbit" Mayes C. Rubeo
"Joker" Mark Bridges
"Little Women" Jacqueline Durran - Winner
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood" Arianne Phillips

Directing

"The Irishman" Martin Scorsese"Joker" Todd Phillips
"1917" Sam Mendes
"Joker" Todd Phillips
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood" Quentin Tarantino
"Parasite" Bong Joon Ho - Winner

Documentary (Feature)

"American Factory" - Winner
"The Cave"
"The Edge of Democracy"
"For Sama"
"Honeyland"

Documentary (Short Subject)

"In the Absence"
"Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)" - Winner
"Life Overtakes Me"
"St. Louis Superman"
"Walk Run Cha-Cha"

Film Editing

"Ford v Ferrari" Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland - Winner
"The Irishman" Thelma Schoonmaker
"Jojo Rabbit" Tom Eagles
"Joker" Jeff Groth
"Parasite" Yang Jinmo

International Feature Film

"Corpus Christi" Poland
"Honeyland" North Macedonia
"Les Misérables" France
"Pain and Glory" Spain
"Parasite" South Korea - Winner

Makeup and Hairstyling

"Bombshell" Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker - Winner
"Joker" Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
"Judy" Jeremy Woodhead
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White
“1917” Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole

Music (Original Score)

"Joker" Hildur Guðnadóttir - Winner
"Little Women" Alexandre Desplat
"Marriage Story" Randy Newman
“1917” Thomas Newman
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" John Williams

Music (Original Song)

I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away "Toy Story 4" Randy Newman
(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again "Rocketman" Music by Elton John; Lyric by Bernie Taupin - Winner
I'm Standing With You "Breakthrough” Diane Warren
Into the Unknown "Frozen II" Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Stand Up "Harriet" Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

Production Design

"The Irishman"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"1917"
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood" - Winner
"Parasite"

Short Film (Animated)

"Dcera (Daughter)" Daria Kashcheeva
"Hair Love" Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver - Winner
"Kitbull" Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
"Memorable" Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre
"Sister" Siqi Song

Short Film (Live Action)

"Brotherhood" Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
"Nefta Football Club" Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
"The Neighbors' Window" Marshall Curry - Winner
"Saria" Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre
"A Sister" Delphine Girard

Sound Editing

"Ford v Ferrari" Donald Sylvester - Winner
"Joker" Alan Robert Murray
“1917” Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood" Wylie Stateman
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" Matthew Wood and David Acord

Sound Mixing

“Ad Astra” Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
"Ford v Ferrari" Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow
"Joker" Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
"1917" Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson - Winner
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood" Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano

Visual Effects

“Avengers: Endgame”
"The Irishman"
“The Lion King”
“1917” - Winner
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

"The Irishman" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
"Jojo Rabbit" Screenplay by Taika Waititi - Winner
"Joker" Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
"Little Women" Written for the Screen by Greta Gerwig
“The Two Popes” Written by Anthony McCarten

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“Knives Out” Written by Rian Johnson
"Marriage Story" Written by Noah Baumbach
“1917” Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
"Once Upon a time...in Hollywood" Written by Quentin Tarantino
"Parasite" Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won - Winner

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Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, on Twitter - @VinceSchilling and Instagram - @VinceSchilling

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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