Parasite is the first film from South Korea ever to be nominated in the category, let alone win the prize

By Joelle Goldstein
February 09, 2020 10:50 PM
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And the winner is… Parasite!

The South Korean film took home the award for Best International Feature Film on Sunday at the 92nd annual Academy Awards, beating out Corpus Christi, Honeyland, Les Misérables and Pain and Glory.

It was the first film from South Korea ever to be nominated, let alone win the prize.

Director Bong Joon Ho, who also penned the film’s screenplay, took the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California to accept the award.

In his speech, Bong referenced the Academy’s decision to change the name of the category to Best International Feature Film from its previous category title: Best Foreign Language Film.

Producers Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann decided to drop the word “foreign” this year despite the category remaining under that name since 1947, as it didn’t accurately represent the movies in the category and suggested anything other than the English language was considered foreign.

“I’m so happy to be its first recipient under the new name,” he said. “I applaud and support the new direction that this change symbolizes.”

He went on to acknowledge “all our loving cast members and crew members,” many of the actors standing up in the audience afterward. “Please give a round of applause for them I congratulate all the great artists here tonight,” Bong said. “I thank everyone … who allowed me to actualize my vision.”

“I’m ready to drink tonight,” he joked.

Bong Joon Ho
Bong Joon Ho
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

It’s been a phenomenal awards season for the cast and crew of Parasite.

Earlier in the evening, Bong and his collaborator Han Jin Won picked up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, beating out Rian Johnson (Knives Out), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) and Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917).

The blockbuster became one of the most talked-about films of 2019 in the United States. The mastermind behind the dark thriller, South Korean-born Bong, premiered the movie at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019, where it became the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or, the top prize of the festival.

The Kim Family (Woo-sik Choi, Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang, So-dam Park) in Parasite.
Parasite
| Credit: Neon

Once the film opened in the U.S. last fall in just three theaters — two in Los Angeles and one in New York City — it brought in $376,264 in total ($125,421 per-theater), which made it the biggest per-screen haul of any international film ever, according to Vanity Fair.

The film, which follows a poor family and a rich family as they become unusually entangled, stars Song Kang-ho, Cho Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-shik, Chang Hyae-Jin, Jung Hyeon-Jun, Jung Ziso, Lee Jung-eun, Lee Sun-kyun and Park Myung-hoon.

In addition to Sunday’s win, Parasite also took home wins at the 2020 Sag Awards for best motion picture – foreign language and at the 2020 Golden Globes for best foreign language film.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.