The acclaimed global-hit movie, Parasite, has been making waves even before making its way to the Oscars this year. Director Bong Joon Ho’s movie, which centres on two families and explores class discrimination and the wealth gap, has resonated with audiences around the world, quickly earning it well-deserved critical acclaim.
At the glittering awards ceremony on 9 February, the movie made history, becoming the first non-English movie in the Academy’s 92-year-history movie to scoop the Best Picture award. The film pipped rivals to the post, including Little Women, 1917 and Jojo Rabbit. It also garnered three other gold statuettes for Best International Feature Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
This win was considered a personal triumph for Asians and Asian-Americans, who have struggled with a lack of representation and diversity on the bigger world stage. The buzz about the film began at the Cannes Film Festival, when it carried off the coveted Palme d’Or award. It doubtless helped the movie to get on the Academy’s radar, while highlighting the fact that if the world looks further than Hollywood, more global talent can be recognised and honoured.
As Bong Joon Ho himself has said, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
Renée Zellweger, who made a comeback after a six-year hiatus from the big screen, won the Best Actress award for her outstanding performance in Judy, the biopic about the troubled life of Judy Garland. She went up against Saoirse Ronan, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron and Cynthia Erivo.
Joaquin Phoenix’s startling performance as the eponymous tortured anti-hero in Joker, earnt him the Best Actor award. The movie also took home the Oscar for best original score. Meanwhile, 1917 confirmed the Academy’s continuing love affair with war films when it bagged three awards – Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing.
My personal favourite victory of the evening? Laura Dern winning the award for the Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a feisty divorce lawyer in Marriage Story. It’s the second trophy she will be displaying at home for the movie – Dern’s performance also earned her a fifth Golden Globe Award. Her performance in Oscar-contender Little Women is noteworthy of praise, too.
The ever-so entertaining Taiki Waititi proved a worthy winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay award for his movie, JoJo Rabbit. The comedy-drama movie was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Film Editing.
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