Oscars 2020: Parasite Creates History Becoming the First Foreign Film to Take the Lead

Oscars 2020: Parasite Creates History Becoming the First Foreign Film to Take the Lead

Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite beat Sam Mendes’ 1917 which was a tough contender for the Best Film nomination at the Oscars last night

The 2020 award season kicked off in January with the Golden Globes, leading up to the prestigious Oscars which were held in Dolby Theatre last night. The who’s who of Hollywood attended the event as many graced the red carpet and made their presence known. But before the show kicked off last night, film buffs across the world had one thing on their minds: Which film would win the Oscar? Sam Mendes’ 1917, which has bagged the Best Film awards multiple times this year already, or Parasite – which has also taken the Best Foreign Language Feature Film ever since the award season kicked off.

Needless to say, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite won the Best Film at the Oscars last night and fans couldn’t be more excited. After all, many were rooting for the film. And not only that, but the Korean film also took home the most awards last night. Directed by Bong Joon Ho, the film follows an impoverished South Korean family posing as qualified professionals to gain long-term employment by a wealthy family. He also won Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and Parasite won best international film, for a total of four Academy Awards – leading the ceremony. This was followed by 1917, which won three awards and Ford v Ferrari, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joker got two awards each. But it was Parasite that made history at the 92nd Academy Awards – as it became the first foreign-language film ever to win a Best Film at the Oscars.

During his speech, while accepting the award, Bong Joon Ho said, “I’ve seen Scorsese lose this award multiple times. He didn’t know me then, but I was so frustrated. To be nominated with him was so exciting.” Producer Kwak Sin Ae added, “I’m speechless. We never imagined this to ever happen, we are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening in history right now. I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all the members of the Academy for making this decision.” The producers of the show, however, tried to cut her speech by dimming the lights during it, but the audience revolted. When the lights were switched back on, the executive producer of Parasite Miky Lee, continued, “Bong, thank you. Thank you for being you. I like everything about him. His smile, the way he talks, the way he walks, and especially the way he directs. I really, really, really want to thank our Korean film audience, our moviegoers.”

While admiring his Oscar backstage with producer Kwak Sin Ae, co-screenwriter Han Jin Won, and translator Sharon Choi, Bong Joon Ho confessed, “I’m just a very strange person. I just did what I always did with producer Kwak. I feel like something will hit me and I will wake up from this dream.” When asked what message he had for Asian talent trying to work in the film industry, he explained that The Farewell – which had an all-Asian cast and was set in China, wherein the dialogues were in Mandarin – won the Best Feature Film at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on the same weekend as the Oscars. He praised that film’s director Lulu Wang and noted that it shouldn’t be necessary to separate Asian films from any other type.

Parasite first starting making rounds when it starting receiving awards starting May 2019, when it won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, it has become a global box-office phenomenon, grossing $166.1 million worldwide. It is also the second foreign film to be nominated and the first to win at the Screen Actors Guild for outstanding performance by a cast. It was also nominated for top prizes at the Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and BAFTAs, before earning an Oscar last night.

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By Shaheera Anwar
A multimedia journalist who keeps a keen eye on the latest happenings in the world of entertainment and often writes reviews along with opinion pieces on some of the most-talked-about debates