Why It Was Surprising That “Parasite” Was Named Best Picture

Through the years, there have been many film favorites that have graced the Academy Awards. Critics have predicted most of them except for a very few that were sleeper hits often brought about by the audience’s buzz. The year’s film favorite usually wins the much-acclaimed honor of best picture at the Academy Awards. However, this is not always the case. There have been instances when the winner of the prestigious award in the most underdog of all nominees.

Awards and accolades

This has been the case for the most recent win of Parasite, which won not only the award for best picture. It also won three other awards, namely best director for Bong Joon-ho, best original screenplay for Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-Won, and best international feature film. It was nominated for two others, which are the best production design and best film editing. It is the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture.  

Parasite was not only making a buzz in Hollywood. It was making its rounds in different prestigious award-giving bodies like the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, also known as AACTA, the African-American Film Critics Associations, the American Film Institute Awards, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the Belgian Film Critics Association, the Blue Dragon Film Awards, the British Independent Film Awards, the Busan Film Critics Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Grand Bell Awards, the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, to name a few. The movie has won 187 awards among its 308 local and international nominations.

People’s reviews and reactions

It was surprising to most that the movie won an award in the Academy. And not just any award but the most significant of them all. The night’s favorite was the movie 1917, but it never held a candle against the accolades and praise that Parasite has accumulated throughout its promotions and screening. It was described by A.O. Scott from The New York Times as “wildly, entertaining, the kind of smart, generous, aesthetically energized movie that obliterates the tired distinctions between art films and popcorn movies.” Another critic named Dave Calhoun from Time Out described the movie as “…a dazzling work, surprising and fully gripping from beginning to end, full of big bangs and small wonders.”

It was one great review after another, nothing that Hollywood has ever seen before about a foreign film. Now, Parasite has set precedence to all newcomers, whether it be a foreign language film or not.