We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.
The most acclaimed director in Korean history, Joon-ho Bong, has made enough unusual films to earn the praises of critics, but to be utterly ignored by the Academy. Films like The Host, Mother, Snowpiercer, and Okja just aren’t the kinds of movies Oscar voters tend to like, their genres being particularly unappealing to them. That may have changed with Parasite, South Korea’s entry to the Academy Awards and Bong’s best opportunity yet to finally break through to the Oscars.
The film, with a mystery at its center that no one seems willing to discuss openly, appears to be hist most straight forward yet. It looks to be a drama about wealthy malaise and the poor grifters who try to take advantage of it. Is it a critique of wealth or something more sinister. At one time, the film had a rare 100% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. One cranky contrarian later (not unsurprisingly Armond White), the film still sits at 99% and with a stellar 95 rating at MetaCritic (which earns it a ranking at 58 on the all-time best reviewed list), the film is a surefire contender with critics groups.
That alone could help propel the film to a Best International Film award at the Oscars. It might also enable the film to pull in rare nominations for Best Picture, Directing, Original Screenplay, and Film Editing. A lot will depend on how well the film does with critics ahead of the Oscar derby this year, but suffice it to say, its chances are the best Bong has ever had.