The Oscars 2020 ceremony is a wrap, and while many of the awards went to the season-long favorites like Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix, and Renée Zellweger, there was one (amazing) surprise. The South Korean thriller Parasite absolutely swept, taking home trophies for Best Screenplay, Best International Feature, Best Picture, and Best Director for Bong Joon Ho.
It also made history by becoming the first non-English-language movie to win Best Picture. “After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax,” Bong said after winning the director prize over Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Todd Phillips, and Sam Mendes. Not so fast, sir.
Parasite has done modestly well at the U.S. box office for a non-English-language movie, making $34 million to date, but there are probably a lot of you out there this morning wondering whether it's really worthy of all the hype and praise. (It's made $72 million in its home country.) The roar from the crowd inside the Academy Awards tells you that Hollywood sure thinks so—and I wholeheartedly, passionately agree. This is a movie you'll keep thinking about long after it's over.
The excitement over Parasite's wins on social media was palpable, as many felt like the Academy really got it right this year. Though some correctly noted how odd it was for the film to take home the night's big awards without a single member of the cast even being nominated in the acting categories.
The thing about Parasite is you'll want to go into it as spoiler-free as possible—it will truly enhance your viewing experience. But what I will say is that it's at once an intense thriller, a cutting social commentary on class and capitalism, and truly hilarious. It will definitely make you think, that's for sure—but Parasite is also hella entertaining. The story follows the Kims, a poor family of grifters, who insert themselves into the very rich Park family, which leads to unexpected results. Perhaps you thought the name Parasite implied some sort of supernatural horror film, but that's not the vibe at all.
And yes, you will have to read the subtitles—unless you happen to speak Korean. “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” Bong said at the Golden Globes. And he's right. With Parasite, in particular, you will quickly be so immersed in the world you won't even realize you're reading.
There's a good chance that Parasite will be released back into more theaters after its big Oscars 2020 wins, but it's also currently available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, if you'd rather watch from the comfort of your couch. Whichever you choose, do yourself a favor and see it soon. You won't be disappointed.
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