After Oscars Surprise, One Nation Celebrates

South Korea proud of 'Parasite' and director Boon Joon Ho
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2020 5:55 AM CST

(Newser) – The Oscars were all about Parasite. The South Korean film became the first foreign-language film to win best picture and its director, Boon Joon Ho, became the first South Korean to win best director. “I'm ready to drink tonight,” Bong said in one of his acceptance speeches, per BuzzFeed. The black comedy—see the trailer here—also won for best original screenplay and best international film. None of this was lost on Boon's home country, notes the AP. “Can you believe that ‘parasite’ won the Academy best picture?” asked a headline in South Korea’s biggest newspaper, Chosun Ilbo. “It rewrote the Academy’s 92-year-old history.” President Moon Jae-in tweeted that he is proud, and Bong's alma mater, Yonsei University in Seoul, staged a viewing party that erupted into celebration when the film won. (See the Oscars announcement here.)

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“It’s deeply meaningful for Korean movies and this will open the path," said Kim Nam-hoon, 21, one of those at the viewing party. "I’m speechless." At the Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips thinks the Academy got this one right. "It was the most vital, most elegant, most unpredictable and best film of 2019, and you picked it," he writes, adding that such smart picks are few and far between. "You picked it, and not in a patronizing, obligatory fashion," he adds. "You realized Bong Joon Ho’s crafty marvel of a social thriller, about one family’s furtive, unpredictable entry into another family’s universe free from want, deserved the original screenplay award (for Bong and Han Jin Won), as well as the best director prize, en route to the gratifying surprise at the end." (Read the full list of winners.)

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