The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are underway, opened by a colourful performance of song and dance featuring actors Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter.
Monáe entered the stage by coming out of a door on the iconic set of A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, performing an exciting rendition of the theme song.
As she performed, she walked toward the audience where Tom Hanks (who was nominated for his role as Mr Fred Rogers in the film) was sitting by his wife Rita Wilson, singing along. And just like the film, it was pure magic.
The show went on to feature movies from the last year, including Joker, 1917, Dolemite is My Name, Little Women and Jojo Rabbit.
And it wouldn’t be an Oscars opening number without using the opportunity to make a strong political statement. Monáe gave special mention to “all the women who directed phenomenal films,” and said she’s “proud to stand here as a black, queer artist.”
Porter, dressed in glitter and sparkle, performed an Elton John hit from Rocketman as part of the performance before Monae took her microphone and got the likes of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie to sing along.
Following the song, comedians Steve Martin and Chris Rock took to the stage for some opening remarks, making a few digs directed at The Academy (we presume?!) joking that it was “such an incredible demotion” for them to just be doing a monologue since they had hosted the Oscars before.
“They don’t really have hosts anymore, why is that?” Martin asked Rock.
“Twitter,” Rock quipped, referring to the great Kevin Hart saga of 2019.
“We’ve had a great time not hosting tonight,” Martin joked.
The pair joked about the show missing “vaginas” as well as its diversity problem.
“I thought there was something missing from the list this year,” Martin said, speaking of the all-male Best Directory category.
“Vaginas?” asked Rock.
“Think how much the Oscars have changed in the past 92 years. Back in 1929 there were no black acting nominees. And now in 2020 we got one. Amazing growth,” said Martin.
Their opener concluded with Martin saying:
“We’ve had a great time not hosting!”