‘Parasite’ deserves all the accolades, it’s amazing (no spoilers)

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I’m going to talk about Parasite, hopefully without giving spoilers. There are some things I’ll need to give away, but I’m putting them in white with a warning and you can highlight the passage to read them. (I read your comments on our last story about this film and while the trailer gives a lot of these things away I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. I promise even the parts you need to highlight are quite vague.) First of all, the cinematography is breathtaking without being over-the-top. It’s like a work of art and the lighting, architecture and visuals are spectacular. Highlight this next sentence to see a mild spoiler with my feelings about the movie: It’s funny without being obnoxious and it’s tragic and touching without being maudlin. It’s an expertly balanced, highly entertaining movie that I want to see again. As you’ve surely heard, it also defies genres but somehow never feels manipulative or exploitative. (See: The Prestige.) There were some elements that reminded me of Jordan Peele’s work in that there’s nuanced foreshadowing which makes you feel clever when you figure it out. Highlight this next sentence to see a mild spoiler with the themes. There are also specific themes based around class, money and particularly water and earth. I did have some misconceptions going into it which were based on Bong Joon-ho’s other films, but I’m happy I was wrong.

Parasite made the Oscars shortlist for Best Foreign Language film, and it’s very likely to win in that category. As you probably know, it won at Cannes and got a 9 minute ovation after the screening that was very well deserved. I also read the crazy news that it made the shortlist for best original song! Taylor Swift’s Cats song, co-written with Andrew Lloyd Webber, didn’t even get shortlisted in that category. The song that plays over the credits, “Soju One Glass,” has lyrics written by director Joon-ho, was composed by Jung Jae Il, and is sung by actor Choi Woo-sik, who plays Ki-woo/Kevin in Parasite. (If you know Korean the song may have spoilers as it serves as a kind of bonus story about a key character.) This incredible and somewhat spoilery interview with Joon-ho explains so much about the movie and that song, but don’t read it if you don’t want to know key details about the film. I loved this film and am definitely going to watch more of Joon-ho’s work.

Parasite will go down in cinematic history and I would very much like it if it won Best Picture at the Oscars. At the minimum it should be nominated. A lot of people are buzzing over the fact that it’s only the second foreign language film to ever be nominated for Best Ensemble at the SAGs. 1997′s Life is Beautiful was the other foreign language film nominated in that category. (A previous version of this story said it was only the second foreign language film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. This was incorrect, thanks OG Cleo!)

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Photos credit: Avalon.red

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30 Responses to “‘Parasite’ deserves all the accolades, it’s amazing (no spoilers)”

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  1. OG Cleo says:

    I also loved it and hope it is at least nominated for Best Picture! However, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was also nominated for Best Picture in the early 2000s. Roma was also nominated last year. There’s a pretty long list of non-English Best Picture nominees, actually.

  2. A.Key says:

    Yes, yes and YES to everything you wrote!!!

  3. Wisca says:

    A truly fantastic film. I saw it the weekend it came out in notNY notLA & the theater was packed with every demographic.

  4. Elle says:

    Am I correct that South Korea’s Blue Dragon awards don’t have a foreign film category anymore? I thonk there was one in the 1990s, but they have since stopped honoring any non-Korean films.

    If American films can’t get nominated there then that might explain why Oscar voters are so cold toward Korean films. I also think there are race issues going on, but tit for tat also seems likely.

  5. Louisa says:

    The first Bong Joon-ho film I ever watched was Snowpiercer. It’s still one of my favorite sciencr fiction films.

    Parasite is really good though and hope it scores a nom in BP and possibly a Best Director for BJH. We can hope.

    • michkabibbles says:

      Memories of Murder and Mother are my favorites. Mother is just outstanding. I haven’t seen parasite yet, though, but am super excited to see it.

      • Louisa says:

        I haven’t seen Mother but Memories of Murder is really good too!

        I know Okja wasn’t that well-received but I guess he was trying for something different. I love Jake Gyllenhaal’s hamtastic acting in the film.

    • sunny says:

      He is such a smart and interesting director. Shoutout to the Host which was where I discovered his work. I loved Parasite and was fortunate enough to see it pretty early at a screening he was at. He originally was considering doing it as a play which is WILD to me. It ended up so visual. Anyway, I hope this brings lots more attention to his work and I hope this contends for best picture and not just best foreign picture. I really don’t love the category distinction especially with some of the best films in 2019 being international, like Pain & Glory, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and this one.

      On another note, Parasite feels like a culmination of so much of the themes in his previous work, especially Snowpiercer. I also feel like that with Noah Baumbach and Marriage Story like all their other works led to this one.

    • BQuiet says:

      I have loved his work since The Host, which remains the rare movie that I went to see after reading a great review and then thought it was even better than expected.

  6. hindulovegod says:

    It is in a different class this year. Hoping against hope it picks up enough critics’ and guild awards that the Academy is pressured into nominating it.

  7. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    I cannot wait to see this!!

    I haven’t been so hopped up with anticipation about a film since…maybe… The Shape of Water?

  8. Ana Maria says:

    Agree with everything you wrote; to me, it’s the best film I’ve watched in years…I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT: When there’s that heavy rain, and the girl despite what’s happening around her just lights up a cigarrette…I felt her hopelessness…

    • Celebitchy says:

      I am going to write my thoughts in white and people can highlight this to see spoilers: Water and earth become symbolic of wealth and class. The rich people love the rain and the water makes things worse for the poor. After taking a bath, the one character is told that she fits in with the rich. You know what happens to her. The rock is the symbol of earth, of the poor. I need to look up more about this but that’s what it seemed like to me

  9. MellyMel says:

    Yep! So so good! I won’t stop talking about this movie! I don’t really buy dvds anymore, but I will be buying this one when it comes out.

  10. Chaine says:

    I loved it. I have watched several Korean movies in the past on Netflix but this was the first time one has come out in an actual theater in my area.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Okay I’m excited now. That’s hard to do of late lol. Original excellence is a brain party!

  12. Valerie says:

    I saw it about a month after it premiered at TIFF and loved it. I’m now a member of the Bong Hive, haha.

  13. Adrien says:

    Parasite is a great film tackling class conflict. It is easier to follow than the other Korean film with similar subject, Burning (the one with Steven Yeun). It feels like you are watching a dark comedy yet you leave the theater feeling really heavy.

  14. Beech says:

    I saw it this weekend and it’s wonderful and it’s great to watch an original screenplay and not about someone famous.

  15. Nicegirl says:

    How the heck do I highlight iPhone?

  16. Eveil says:

    I love seeing Choi Woo Shik’s photo on Celebitchy. I’ve been following his career for a long time now and it’s such a treat to see him getting accolades for his acting. 💜💜💜

  17. MP says:

    Absolutely LOVE the attention Parasite and Bong Joon-ho is getting.

    It does make me feel some sort of way about the Train to Busan remake. Train to Busan could just be re-aired in theaters. It’s excellent and now people can see that Korean (or any foreign) movie don’t need to be remade to attract a US audience. It just needs a platform and decent coverage.

    • MellyMel says:

      Train to Busan is on Netflix and is fantastic. It doesn’t need a remake…like at all. And the movie is only three years old. So annoying!

  18. YAS says:

    I’ve seen this movie twice in theaters because I love it so much and I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out so I can keep watching it. I hope Joon-ho, the cast, and the film get the recognition they so rightly deserve during awards season.

  19. Keaton says:

    I’m so glad you saw it and loved it! I’m hoping it gets a Best Picture nom. I’ve seen Marriage Story, The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and a few other critically acclaimed films this year but Parasite was without a doubt the best.