Parasite Just Became The First-Ever Korean Best Picture Nominee In Oscar History

Photo: Neon/Everett.
The Oscars may still be so white, but thanks to director Bong Joon-ho and the cast of Korean thriller and class satire Parasite, the ceremony will be just a bit less so.
Today, the critical and public favorite — as well as the Golden Globe and Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner — earned six Oscar nominations. It is the first South Korean nominee for both Best Picture and Best International Feature Film (formerly Best Foreign Language Movie) in the awards 92-year history. Bong was also nominated for best director, making him the second director from Asia, after Ang Lee for Life of Pi, to earn a best picture nomination. Parasite additionally garnered nods for Best Original Screenplay (Bong and Han Jin-won), Film Editing (Yang Jin-mo), and Production Design (Lee Ha-jun, Cho Won-woo).
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Parasite, which tells the story of a poor family who infiltrates the lives of an upper-class one, swept much of the Golden Globes, including Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Screenplay. It didn't qualify for Best Picture because the awards only recognize films with "more than 50% English dialogue," and the film is completely in Korean. However, that hasn't daunted moviegoers; Parasite, to date, has earned $24 million in North America and $131 million globally.
Despite a few nominations over the years, a foreign film has never won Best Picture at the Oscars. Alfonso Cuarón's Roma came close last year, earning 10 nominations (Green Book won the coveted title).
While the news has caused a flurry of excitement for the nominees themselves and for fans online, many on social media were quick to note that none of the film's talented cast, led by veteran South Korean actor Song Kang-ho, were nominated in any of the acting categories. The same thing happened to the other two Asian ensemble pictures that have been nominated in the Best Picture category: The Last Emperor in 1987 and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in 2000.
Although it is an unfortunate aspect of the news, in the end, even the issue of whether or not the film wins any of these honors is less important than the overall goal of expanding the boundaries and minds of Western filmgoers, according to Bong.
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"Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” said the director via a translator.
The 92nd Academy Awards takes place Sunday, February 9.
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