For Kiwi audiences the one big question surrounding the 92nd Academy Awards was would Taika Waititi win? The second big question was how many of the six nominations would Jojo Rabbit, his divisive but mostly acclaimed anti-war satire, bring home?
The third big question would prove to be how much longer will this thing run? The ceremony effortlessly sailing past its estimated three hour running time.
It certainly opened in explosive style with R&B singer Janelle Monae almost getting the star studded audience dancing in the aisles with her spirited opening number, Come Alive.
She was followed by the comedic double act of Steve Martin and Chris Rock who got the crowd rolling in the aisles with a welcome that was savage, political and, most importantly, funny.
"You know Chris, we've both hosted the Oscars before," Martin said as way of introduction, "This is such a demotion."
Thankfully, the wait for Waititi was not long, with the local director winning his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with Jojo Rabbit early in the ceremony.
Looking uncharacteristically nervous after accepting the award Waititi nevertheless gave a heartfelt speech.
The first half essentially boiling down to, "Thanks mum!" after revealing that she was the one who gave him a copy of Christine Leunens's book Caging Skies, which he'd adapt for Jojo Rabbit.
"This film wouldn't have existed without you doing that," he said.
If the first part was thankful, the second half was inspiring, with the director saying, "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".
But there's no doubt at all that the night belonged to South Korean director and screenwriter Bong Joon-ho whose thriller Parasite proved infectious to the Academy.
In what can only be described as a massive upset or shock twist, the Korean language film took home four awards, almost a clean sweep of all the major categories, winning Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and the big kahuna, Best Picture, making history as the first non-English feature to win the coveted prize.
"Thank you, I will drink until next morning," he said looking stunned after accepting the gold Best Picture trophy.
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Other surprises included Eminem rocking the mic with a performance of his 2002 Academy Award winning song Lose Yourself from 8 Mile, the kick-ass display of girl power when Captain Marvel, Ripley and Wonder Woman - aka Brie Larson, Sigourney Weaver and Gal Gadot - came together onstage to introduce Best Original Score and Ray Romano dropping an unbleeped F-bomb on stage right before announcing the winner for Best Makeup and Hair Styling.
The first big winner of the night Brad Pitt (Best Supporting Actor) got political, slamming the GOP-controlled senate for not calling President Trump's former national security advisor John Bolton to testify during his impeachment trial.
Waititi later returned to the stage to present the presenters of an award, and showed he'd shaken his nerves. When the news broke that he would be a presenter he'd joked, "Lolz. Didn't think there were any bridges left for me to burn," on Instagram, but he ended up playing it completely straight with neither a joke nor a jape to be seen.
As the ceremony dragged on it was up to the musical numbers to keep your spirit soaring. Whether it was piano man Elton John hammering away at the keys with Rocketman's (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again - let's hope he's not too feeling too jet lagged for this weekend's Mt Smart shows - or Billie Eilish keeping it traditionally strings-soaked as she huskily crooned through The Beatles classic Yesterday for the In Memorial segment, you couldn't help but be thankful for the music.
Olivia Colman once again proved she's a complete treasure during her introduction for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Taking to the stage she joked that her win last year was "the best night of my husband's life. And I've given birth three times.".
- Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Renee Zellweger (Judy)
Best Supporting Actor
- Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood)
Best Supporting Actress
- Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Best Original Screenplay
- Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin-won (Parasite)
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)
Best Animated Feature
- Toy Story 4
But it was Joaquin Phoenix who had the last laugh winning Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as the comic book character Joker. His speech, however, was no laughing matter as he gave "voice to the voiceless," in a rambling sort of fashion before eventually thanking the people in the room for giving him a second chance.
"I've been a scoundrel in my life, selfish, cruel at times, hard to work with and I am grateful so many you in this room have given me a second chance. When we help each other, when we guide each other towards redemption, that is the best of humanity."
Renee Zellweger crowned her comeback by claiming victory in the category of Best Leading Actress for her role as Judy Garland in the biopic Judy also giving an equally roundabout acceptance speech.
And then, after an ad break, it was finally time. Almost half an hour after its scheduled finish we'd reached crunch time. The award for Best Picture.
Could Waititi win? Could he do it and bring home the double? Could a film about Nazis with Hitler as a character win the Best Picture Oscar, no matter how much hate it was anti and satirising?
Tonight belonged to Bong Hoon-Jo and his Parasite. A film that made history by blowing up the tired assumption and perceptions of what an Academy Award winning Best Picture should look like.