This year’s Oscars marks an important milestone for foreign language films, as Parasite took home four awards on the night, including the best picture. Bong Joon-ho’s comedy-horror-satire-thriller also came out tops for best director, best original screenplay and best international film.
Sam Mendes’s 1917 had been tipped for the night’s biggest prize, especially after their win in this year’s BAFTAs and Golden Globes. Parasite also defeated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Ford v Ferrari, Marriage Story, Little Women and The Irishman to the best picture.
This historic occasion marks the first time in 65 years that the winner of Cannes’s highest award, the Palme d’Or, has progressed to a best picture at the Oscar. The only other time this happened was in 1955, with Marty.
As for the best director, Bong paid tribute to Scorsese in his speech, saying that, when he was young, he “carved deep into my heart” a quote by Scorsese: “The most personal is the most creative.”
According to NBC News, Boon also joins Walt Disney as the only person to win 4 awards at the Oscars, a record that was set in 1953. Prior to this, Parasite was only the 11th foreign-language film to have been nominated for the Academy’s top prize, with Netflix’s Roma coming closest to winning it in last year’s Oscars.
The Academy came under heavy fire in 2019 as Alfonso Cuaron’s autobiographical drama was pipped to the top prize by Green Book, a film that was heavily criticised as it upheld the white savior narrative, a trend that would perhaps pass in the 1960s instead of 2019.
Therefore, Parasite’s success in the 92nd edition of the Oscar is seen as a massive triumph for diversity in today’s cinema. “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” said Boon after winning the award for best foreign-language film.
That caps off a historic day for the cast and crew of Parasite. If you’re wondering what the South Korean team would be up to, here’s an insight:
As for those who missed out this masterpiece, head to selected GSC, TGV, Emperor and Superstar Cinemas for a limited-time screening in Malaysia.