‘Parasite’ Makes History With Oscar Nominations

Parasite” made history on Monday, becoming the first South Korean movie to be nominated for best picture and best international film.

Given South Korea’s rich film history, it’s remarkable that Academy Awards voters have largely ignored the country’s movies. In 2018, there was a great deal of optimism that Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning,” an acclaimed thriller, would become the first film from the country to earn a best international film nod. It was the first South Korean film shortlisted for the honor. However, when nominations were announced, it was not on the ballot.

Bong Joon Ho also picked up a nod for best director, in addition to original screenplay with Jin Won Han. It also got a film editing nod for Jinmo Yang and a production design nod for Lee Ha Jun and Cho Won Woo.

Parasite” was warmly embraced by critics when it world premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The story of a family of small-time con artists and grifters who become entangled with a wealthy businessman, his wife and their children was praised as a twisty thriller that had incisive things to say about income inequality. It went on to become the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ highest honor.

The film, which was released by Neon, was also a box office hit, grossing an impressive $25.4 million in the U.S. and $132.3 million globally. It was also announced last week that the movie is in development as an HBO miniseries. Bong’s other films include “Snowpiercer,” “The Host” and “Mother.” South Korea previously submitted “Mother” as its official Oscars entry, but it failed to even be shortlisted.

In another milestone for the country, Yi Seung-Jun’s “In the Absence” became the first South Korean movie to be nominated for best documentary short. The film examines a 2014 ferry sinking disaster that killed 304 passengers and crew members.

In an interview with Variety in November, Bong said he hoped any Oscar attention would encourage viewers to find out more about South Korean cinema.

“Korean cinema has a long history,” he said. “There are many masters that have yet to be introduced to the Western audience. It would be great if people take more interest in Korean cinema due to my nomination.”

More Film

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Soaring to $70 Million Opening

    “Bad Boys for Life” is tracking for a solid launch with as much as $70 million at 3,740 venues in North America over the four-day holiday weekend, early estimates showed Friday. Universal’s opening of its fantasy-adventure “Dolittle” should wind up in second with about $30 million. That’s somewhat above studio expectations for the Robert Downey [...]

  • Olivia Colman Phoebe Waller Bridge Brad

    SAG Awards Predictions 2020: 'Parasite,' 'Fleabag' and Other Top Contenders

    No matter who wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, it will be a surprise. That’s because there aren’t many obvious frontrunners in either the TV or film categories at this year’s competition. Around 160,000 members from across the country vote for the SAG Awards, and with such a large voting body, members [...]

  • This is Us

    Los Angeles On-Location Production Slides 5% in Fourth Quarter

    Overall on-location filming in Los Angeles dropped 5% from October through December, according to a report released by permitting agency FilmLA on Friday. Officials said the decline in overall shoot days to 9,839 was due partly to record activity levels in 2018, which generated the highest level of local production activity of any quarter in [...]

  • Charlize Theron Jay Roach Bombshell BTS

    How Charlize Theron Helped Save Her 'Bombshell' Production

    Exactly two weeks before “Bombshell” was set to begin shooting, Annapurna backed out of the $35 million production. Producer Charlize Theron, who also stars in the film, was on a location scout with production department heads when she heard the bad news. “We had [cast] Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie — two of the busiest [...]

  • Wasp Network

    Netflix Scoops Olivier Assayas's 'Wasp Network' With Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has acquired U.S. rights and several other territories for Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network,” the Cuban spy thriller headlined by Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez which world premiered at Venice last year, Variety has learned. The streaming giant is believed to have bought international rights to the film outside of China, Eastern Europe, Greece, Portugal, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content