Open the history books: Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed comedy thriller Parasite has won Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards. Follow our complete winner’s list for an update on all the night’s victories.
A monumental victory for international filmmaking, Parasite is the first non-English language film to be named Best Picture by the Academy, in addition to the first South Korean film to win the category. It was quite a coup, too, having faced stiff competition in 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Marriage Story, Little Women, Joker, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, and Jojo Rabbit.
The win is a fitting cap for what’s been quite an historic run, which began last May at the Cannes Film Festival, where it became the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or. It has similarly broken new ground for South Korea at the Golden Globes, SAG, and the BAFTAs. The film also took home Best International Feature Film, Best Screenplay (Bong and Jin Won Han), and Best Director for Bong. Indeed, it was a massive night for Bong, South Korean film, and cinema at large.
After picking up three awards earlier in the night, it seemed Bong was too gobsmacked to keep speaking. Instead, producer Kwak Sin-ae took the mic, saying (via a translator), “I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now. I express my deepest gratitude and respect to all the members of the academy for making this decision.”
As she stepped away, the lights on stage went down, the mic dropped into the stage, and the camera went back to Jane Fonda, as if the show’s producers were readying for the exit. However, the crowd chanted, “Up! Up! Up!” until the microphone returned for produce and movie mogul Miky Lee, who showered praise on Bong before saying, “I really, really, really want to thank our Korean film audience… who’s been really supporting all our movies and never hesitated to give us straight forward opinion about what they feel [about their] movies. That made us really never be able to be complacent, and keep pushing — the directors, the creators — keep pushing the envelopes. Without you, our Korean film audience, we are not here.”
Check out the full speech below.
The night’s other big winners included Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor, Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress, Renée Zellweger for Best Actress, and Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. Check out all the winners and performances here.
Rest assured, this isn’t the end of Parasite. Back in January, news broke that Bong and Adam McKay were teaming up to create an HBO limited series based on the film. As the Oscar winner explained, the idea would be to “expand this film and explore all the ideas that I’ve had from the script writing stage from what could happen in between the scenes through the TV series.”
Elsewhere, the series adaptation of Bong’s 2014 epic, Snowpiercer, will debut on TNT on May 31st. The show stars Jennifer Connelly and Bong serves as executive producer.