As this is the first time a South Korean film has been nominated for one of the most prestigious film awards in the US, local fans are wondering how deep a mark the satirical black comedy will make in cinematic history, and if it will be the first Korean film to crack the Academy Awards.
|Poster for “Parasite” (CJ ENM)|
|Bong Joon-ho (Yonhap)|
The Korean film faces tough competition in a year rich with highly acclaimed films like Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood,” Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” which many see as an early front-runner for the Academy Awards’ best picture.
Bong would need to beat the likes of Phillips, Scorsese and Sam Mendes of “1917” for the top director award at the Golden Globes, which will be held in Beverley Hills on Jan. 5, while “Parasite” faces competition from “The Farewell” by Lulu Wang, “Pain and Glory” by Pedro Almodovar, “Les Miserables” by Ladj Ly and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” by Celine Sciamma in the foreign-language film category.
Bong and Han Jin-won are also vying for the screenplay award against “Marriage Story” by Noah Baumbach, “The Two Popes” by Anthony McCarten, “The Irishman” by Steven Zaillian and “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” by Tarantino.
A win in any of the categories would be a first for a Korean, as Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning” failed to win a nomination last year. The critically acclaimed film was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Awards the same year, as well as making the preliminary list for the Oscars.
For this year’s Critics’ Choice, “Parasite” has notched seven nominations -- for best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best acting ensemble, best production design, best editing and best foreign-language film.
There has been a buzz over the possibility of seeing the first Korean nomination at the Academy Awards next February, and of a Korean film winning best picture at the Oscars.
The Academy is infamously tough on non-English-language films, with only 10 foreign films ever nominated in the category and none winning. (“Letters From Iwo Jima” was Japanese but was ineligible for the foreign-language category as it was US-produced.)
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” received 10 nods at last year’s Oscars, including best picture. It ended up winning best foreign-language film, best cinematography and best director.
Regardless of the results, Bong has said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that the process in which a “Korean film is voted on by all those people outside of Korea” itself would be very meaningful. Bong added that he thought the film’s main issue -- the social divide between the rich and the poor -- would be even more relevant in the years to come.
By Yoon Min-sik