10 Feb 2020

Waititi wins Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit

7:22 pm on 10 February 2020

Taika Waititi has won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit. Meanwhile, South Korean film Parasite has taken top awards.

New Zealand director Taika Waititi poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Jojo Rabbit".

New Zealand director Taika Waititi poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Jojo Rabbit". Photo: AFP or licensors

Hopes for Kiwi success at the 92nd Oscars mainly rested with Taika Waititi, with Jojo Rabbit up for a host of awards.

Picking up the prize for adapted screenplay, he said, "I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art, and dance, and do stories. We are the original storytellers.

"Thank you, kia ora."

The film, adapted from Belgian-New Zealand author Christine Leunens' novel Caging Skies, tells the story of a brainwashed 10-year-old coming to terms with morality as he grows up in Nazi Germany.

In his speech, Waititi thanked his mother, his wife Chelsea Winstanley, and Leunens.

Winstanley and Carthew Neal - who were producers on Jojo Rabbit - were also nominated alongside Waititi in the Best Picture category, and were the first indigenous producers to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.

The movie had four other nominations: New Zealander Ra Vincent was nominated along with Nora Sopková in the Best Production Design Category where it lost out to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Two more New Zealanders were up for awards, although Waititi's win meant New Plymouth-born Anthony McCarten - the screenwriter behind The Two Popes - missed out.

It was unfortunately also a miss for Matt Aitken, who was nominated in the Visual Effects category for Avengers Endgame.

Parasite, Bong Joon Ho win big

Parasite became the first film not in the English language to win Best Picture.

The South Korean film won four awards in total, including Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, Best International Picture, and Best Original Screenplay.

"When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carve deep into my heart which is, 'the most personal, is the most creative.' That was Martin Scorcese," the director said, gesturing towards Scorcese.

Picking up the award for Best International Feature Film, he said "the category has a new name, from Best Foreign Language, to Best International Feature Film. I'm so happy to be its first recipient under the new name.

"I applaud and support the new direction that this change symbolises."

In the other main awards, Renee Zellweger picked up Best Actress for Judy, and Best Actor went to Joaquin Phoenix for Joker.

Scarlett Johannsen was up for Best Supporting Actress which went to Laura Dern in Marriage Story.

Tom Eagles was nominated for Best Film Editing and lost out to Ford v Ferrari.

Best Costume Design saw Little Women win and Mayes C. Rubeo for Jojo Rabbit lose out.

Still the usual glamour, but unusually no host

The show was off the mark by 2pm - a lung-busting performance by Janelle Monae who praised all the female directors (the Oscars had courted controversy with an all-male shortlist in the category) was followed by a short and sharp duologue by Steve Martin and Chris Rock.

But there was no host to provide consistency. Instead celebrities took it in turns to reveal the next presenter to present the next musical performance before segueing into the next presenter who would finally give away the next award to the next famous person.

With the show attempting to keep down to three hours, it miraculously only lasted around three and a half.

Amid the usual high-budget performances, including an international cast of Elsas from Frozen, and a surprise Eminem performance of Lose Yourself from 8-Mile, there was also a good amount of humour from award presenters.

James Corden and Rebel Wilson managed to provide some silliness, as they walked onto the stage dressed up in cat onesies, and took a jab at Cats' visual effects.

In other awards, Brad Pitt took home his first acting award, winning Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

Full list of Winners:


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE - Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE - Renee Zellweger (Judy)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Laura Dern (Marriage Story)


CINEMATOGRAPHY - Robert Richardson (Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood)

COSTUME DESIGN - Jacqueline Durran (Little Women)

DIRECTING - Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite)

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE) - American Factory

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT) - Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)

FILM EDITING - Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland (Ford v Ferrari)


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING - Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker (Bombshell)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE) - Hildur Guðnadóttirer (Joker)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG) - "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away", Randy Newman (Toy Story 4)

PRODUCTION DESIGN - Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh (Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood)


SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) - The Neighbours' Window

SOUND EDITING - Donald Sylveste (Ford v Ferrari)

SOUND MIXING - Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson (1917)

VISUAL EFFECTS - Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy (1917)

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY) - Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY) - Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won (Parasite)