Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is an important first for South Korean cinema history, being their first film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but after having submitted films to compete for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (then known as the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film), Parasite has not only become the first South Korean film to receive a nomination following the shortlisting of Lee Chang-dong’s Burning at the 91st Academy Awards in said category, but it has also received nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture – becoming the first film produced by an East Asian country to receive such recognition since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
This being one of the most stacked years in recent memory at the Academy Awards, with the most nominated film being a comic book film that still sparks controversy (Joker), fellow nominees also include a WWI epic emulating the look of a single continuous long take (1917), Martin Scorsese’s biggest film since Casino (The Irishman), and a revisionist love letter dedicated to 1960’s Hollywood (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Yet Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes winner still stands atop everything else – at least in my eyes. Seeing Parasite being up for Best Picture felt exciting, because of the doors it opened from its nomination. And of course, I just can’t think of another film more deserving of the honours, in such a fantastic year for film. So without further ado, here are my ten reasons Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite should win Best Picture.
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It has been an absolutely astonishing year for the cinema. But for as amazing a year as 2018 had been, we’re also left with facing one of the most insulting awards seasons to have come by in recent memory. You’d think that given last year’s set of nominees they actually would have been growing progressively better, especially having given a film like Moonlight the top honour for the 2016 ceremony (and a well-deserved one at that), but after the Golden Globes came by, I was already worried that we’d already be in store for one of the absolute worst in recent memory. To think that the Oscars would already have gone far beyond that “popular film” award in order to try and raise their viewership, as if the ceremonies themselves haven’t already been stale enough (i.e. overlong montages praising the industry and shallow activism that amounts to nothing), who knew that we’d be in store for one that was so out of touch – particularly in last year’s amazingly bad timing (with it being only barely ahead of the Olympics rather than in February like they usually were)? As a supposed celebration for the cinema comes by within the year, there are many things here to be concerned about.
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UPDATE: The film ended up winning and I couldn’t have been any happier that it did.
You know that old saying where we don’t care about the Oscars in regards to their effect on our opinions of the films that were either nominated or have won? It’s easy enough to say that, but we still make ourselves watch the ceremonies at least because of the hope we retain in ourselves that maybe something we love so dearly has indeed been nominated and has a chance at winning. But considering just how strong a year this has been looking at the Oscar contenders this year, with Lady Bird, Get Out, and Phantom Thread up in the running for Best Picture, it’s easy to be satisfied with any of them. But if I had to pick one film from all of these, I think that The Shape of Water would be my go-to. And without further ado, here are among the many reasons that not only do I think it would be a suitable winner, but why it is also my favourite film of 2017 while we’re at it.
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One knows already how predictable the Academy Awards can become after the route of the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards among many more, but in the 90 years that we have seen them moving onward, what they had managed to turn forth was not only one of the strongest lineups in a while but also one of the most pleasantly surprising, knowing where their own habits lie. If there was anything else to be said about what the Academy Awards have in store for us this year, then it only makes this year’s ceremony – unlike the past few at least, worth looking forward to.
Bold indicates my vote for said category.
Underline indicates who I think will win.
To read more about the picks this year in the major categories, click “read more.” Continue reading →
We always tell ourselves whenever there’s an Oscars ceremony that we don’t ever care about what they pick for Best Picture, because it’s always been up to us to decide how the films play for ourselves. But no matter how many times we like to reaffirm that the Oscars are ultimately just meaningless to our own opinions of the films themselves, the better question to ask ourselves is why do we keep watching them? I’m not of a mind that has ever believed in the Academy Awards as arbitrary to how we feel about the films that we watch over the years, but I always watch because they are also indicative of how the industry chooses to move forward in the future. When La La Land lost last year to Moonlight after an erroneous announcement, what did not come by was merely a victory for LGBT films in the sense that we were finally recognized by the Academy in their choice to award us Best Picture, but because odds were never certainly going to add up in its favour, it was a moment of triumph for aspiring filmmakers like myself.
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