Though not as heated as previous years, the Oscars seemed as full of speculation and debate on the race to tonight’s ceremony. Would the Academy go with the controversial but successful comic-book movie “Joker”? Or the safer choice and award “1917” after it already had won several of the big awards? Or would it make history (and do the right thing) and award Director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” with the big award?
Well, turns out the Academy finally came to their senses and awarded the best movie of the year with Best Picture. Though “1917” had amassed some momentum after wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, PGA and DGA Awards, “Parasite,” the South Korean class conscious black comedy started its award run all the way back in May last year as it became the first Korean film to win Palme d’Or at Cannes with a unanimous vote. Just like the World War I film, “Parasite” came victorious at both the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, WGA and even winning best ensemble at the SAG Awards, and it seemed like wherever the film went, it amassed critical acclaim and also new fans of Director Bong and his cast.
“Parasite” not only made history as the first Korean film to win Best Picture, but it is the first time a film wins both the biggest award of the night and also Best International Feature, which it won earlier tonight. Though the language barrier has always been the biggest obstacle for non-English films at the Oscars, a victory for “Parasite” shows that the Academy may finally be changing and that all those anonymous Oscar voters with dumb opinions aren’t enough to keep the movies that actually deserve the awards from getting them.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Best International Feature will be eliminated, or that this will happen again, but it’s a history-changing moment that shows the power of cinema to be universal, that a film made in Korea with a modest budget could win over a film starring the best-known comic-book villain ever, and also films by directors like Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Taika Waititi, Noah Baumbach
No matter what happens in the next year, or the years to come, we’ll always have the moment director Bong picked up his well/deserved award.