The story of a poor clan that manipulates their way into the employ of a rich family was nominated for three awards at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.
By Anna Kim
Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite”, a black comedy about a poverty-stricken family who hustles a wealthy couple with unintended consequences, won the Golden Globes for Best Foreign-Language Film on the first Sunday of the New Year of 2020.
“Parasite” was competing in the Foreign Language category with Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell,” Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” Ladj Ly’s “Les Miserables,” and Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory.” The latter two films are also shortlisted for the International Oscar.
The affable Bong Joon Ho offered some great advice to the appreciative audience during his Golden Globes speech.
“Once you overcome the one inch barrier of subtitles, you will discover so many more amazing films. It was a huge honor to be nominated along with fellow amazing international filmmakers,” said Director Bong with the help of a Korean interpreter. To complete his time on stage, Bong said the last line of his brief speech in English himself. He stated, “I think we use only just one language: the cinema.”
“Parasite” was also nominated for screenplay and director, although it didn’t make the cut with those two categories. This well-made satire film had previously amassed numerous international awards, including the coveted Palme d’Or win at the Cannes festival in May, where the coinage of the cinephile phrase “Bong d’Or” was prompted.
The film’s burgeoning awards haul stand in stark contrast to the previous lack of U.S. awards recognition for Korean films. Even though South Korea is the world’s fifth largest motive market by box office and has been a leading force for the past two decades, the Korean movie industry has been somehow upstaged by other cheeky commercial films.
Taking aim at class and wealth disparity, “Parasite” takes a sharp left turn that no movie-goer in the world could ever predict. In the award winning film, Woo Sik Choi, So Dam Park, Kang Ho Song, and Hye Jin Jang play star as a lower class family that begins to infiltrate the lives of an upper-class household, starting with Son Ki Woo who gets a job as an English tutor there.
This feature film to date has not only been a word-of-mouth sleeper success in the U.S., it’s also a bona fide global blockbuster as Bong’s first film to cross the $100-million mark worldwide. Released by indie Neon, “Parasite” opened stateside in May to strong critical praise and has grossed over $128 million worldwide to date, including more than $23 million in the U.S.A.
Director Bong called the movie’s success in the U.S.A,”very inevitable because this film is about the rich and the poor, and the U.S.A. is about the heart of capitalism. So, I thought it was natural to gain such an explosive response.”
Now it’s in line to possibly be the first South Korean film ever to be nominated for an impending Oscar. It’s a heavy favorite heading into the Academy Awards, where it is eligible in both the best picture and international film categories.