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In a surprising alignment, the members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have agreed with Hyperallergic contributors’ assessment that the best film of 2019 is Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. At last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, the film brought in four wins — for Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director, and Best Picture. We are obviously ecstatic that one of our favorite films of the decade has earned such mainstream success and acclaim. It’s a historic moment for several reasons:
- Obviously, this is the first South Korean film to win Best International Feature (formerly Best Foreign Language Film).
- This is the first film to win both Best International Feature and Best Picture.
- And of course, this is the first non-English-language film ever to win Best Picture.
- This is also the first non-English-language film to win a screenplay Oscar since 2002’s Talk to Her. Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won are the first East Asian people to win a screenwriting Oscar.
- Bong Joon-ho has tied with Walt Disney for winning the most Oscars in a single year. (Disney similarly won four at the 1954 ceremony, for four separate films he produced.)
- Less distinct but still interesting: this is only the third winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or to go on to win Best Picture, after 1946’s The Lost Weekend and 1955’s Marty.
Congrats to cinephiles everywhere for the validation. Congrats to the #BongHive for their triumph. Congrats to the Oscars for getting things right for once. And of course, congrats to Eminem for getting to perform “Lose Yourself” again, for some reason.