The South Korean film “Parasite” won the Oscar for best picture. It marked a first for a foreign-language film. A historic victory highlighted the Academy’s increasing focus on international cinema. No film from South Korea has ever received a nomination for Hollywood’s top prize before. It faced strong competition from films like 1917, Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Little Women, Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story, and Ford v Ferrari. “Parasite” won four Oscars, the most for any film. While it stood out for the best picture, it also won the best director, best international film, and best original screenplay.
Accepting the award for best international film, Bong said: “I applaud and support the new direction this change symbolizes.” This was a reference to the category’s change of name from the best foreign-language film to the best international film.
He added: “I’m very ready to drink tonight until next morning.” Parasite won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival in May 2019. Since then it became a major presence, winning a series of prizes including the Bafta and Golden Globe for best film not in the English language.
Only 11 other non-English speaking movies got nominated for Best Picture before. These included Roma, Amour, Babel, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.