A historic win! Parasite won Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday, February 9, in Los Angeles — beating out top contenders Joker and The Irishman — and becoming the first foreign language film to take home the prize.
Lee Jung-eun, who portrays housekeeper Gook Moon-gwang, accepted the award on behalf of the cast and crew with a special shout-out to director Bong Joon-ho.
“I really like to thank director Bong,” the actress, 50, told the crowd. “I like everything about him. His smile, his crazy hair. The way he talks. The way he walks. And especially the way he directs. And what I really like about him is his sense of humor and he can be really making fun of himself and he never takes himself seriously. Thank you.”
Parasite won a total of four Oscars — including Best Director for Joon-ho, 50, and Best Original Screenplay — giving it the most wins for any film on Sunday.
The film centers around the Kims, a poor family who ingratiate themselves into the wealthy family of the Parks through a series of lies. As the Kims become infatuated with the Parks’ luxurious lifestyle, an unexpected turn of events impacts the destiny of both families. Parasite blends the genres of black comedy and thriller while giving a chilling commentary on economic inequality and class struggles.
Joon-ho, 50, told The Atlantic in October 2019 that his job as a tutor inspired him to pen the script, which he cowrote with Han Jin-won.
“When I was in college, I tutored for a rich family, and I got this feeling that I was infiltrating the private lives of complete strangers,” he recalled. “Every week I would go into their house, and I thought how fun it would be if I could get all my friends to infiltrate the house one by one.”
Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam star in the film, which has become a critical and commercial success. Parasite was nominated for six Academy Awards — including Best Production Design, Best International Film and Best Film Editing — and is the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture and Best International Film. It was honored with the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2020 Golden Globes.
Parasite grossed more than $23 million at the domestic box office, making it one of the biggest releases ever for a foreign language film. It also scored big at the international box office, bringing in more than $130 million and making Parasite Joon-ho’s first film to gross $100 million worldwide.
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