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South Korean film makes history by winning best picture

South Korean film makes history by winning best picture

 

Published in The Nation on Feb 11th, 2020, BBC

LONDON-South Korean film Parasite has been named best picture at this year’s Oscars, becoming the first non-English language film to take the top prize.

Renee Zellweger won best actress for playing Judy Garland in Judy. Joaquin Phoenix was named best actor for Joker.Brad Pitt and Laura Dern scooped the supporting acting awards for their roles in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and Marriage Story respectively.

 

Parasite won four awards in total, while Sir Sam Mendes’s 1917 took three. The World War One epic had been the favourite to win best picture, but its awards all came in the technical categories Parasite’s Bong Joon-ho beat Sir Sam to the prize for best director, and also took the best original screenplay award. The film is a vicious social satire about two families from different classes in Seoul – one who live in poverty in a semi-basement, and another rich family residing in a large home. It has now managed what no other subtitled film has done in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards and won best picture. “I feel like I’ll wake up to find it’s all a dream. It all feels very surreal,” Bong said. Producer Kwak Sin-ae, who collected the trophy, said: “I’m speechless. We never imagined this to happen. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now.” There were boos when organisers tried to cut short the best picture acceptance speech by turning the stage lights off – leading the lights to be turned back on, allowing the celebrations to continue.

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