The 92nd Academy Awards are right around the corner, and it’s already a historic night for Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” as it’s the first South Korean nominee to compete in all six of its nominated categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Production Design. “Parasite” is the rare foreign-language film to compete for two of the biggest Oscars (Picture and Director), but those are not the nominations Bong most treasures. In a recent interview with The Wrap, Bong said he’s most excited “Parasite” landed its craft nominations.
“I’m particularly happy with the Best Editing and Best Production Design nominations for the film — for the film to be acknowledged for its craft and below-the-line work,” Bong said. “For Korean cinema, a lot of people in the international community only know the auteurs, the directors, but we have so many great technicians and masters working in the industry. And for the first time now, these amazing technicians are recognized.”
Production designer Lee Ha-Jun is nominated for “Parasite” this year after last working with Bong on his Netflix original movie “Okja,” while “Parasite” editor Yang Jinmo is nominated against the likes of Thelma Schoonmaker of “The Irishman” and Jeff Groth of “Joker.” These craft nominations prove “Parasite” has widespread support within the Academy despite not earning as many nominations as heavyweights “Joker,” “1917,” “The Irishman,” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The Best Editing category is often considered a bellwether for the Best Picture prize, which is one reason “Parasite’s'” Best Picture odds remain strong.
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“Parasite” has become a sensation in the U.S., grossing over $30 million to become one of the biggest foreign-language films ever released domestically. “Parasite” won the Best Foreign Language Film prize at the Golden Globes and its cast picked up the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Ensemble, the first time a foreign film won in the category. When asked by The Wrap why “Parasite” has become such a global hit, Bong said he “doesn’t know the answer to that.”
“I wish I did, because that would really help my next project,” Bong said. “But I don’t think it’s ever easy to figure out the reason behind success. A lot of people say that it’s a story about rich and poor, so it can easily resonate and is universal. But I don’t think that’s special in itself, because there have been so many films and TV shows about the same issue. Perhaps it’s because of how unpredictable the narrative is, or perhaps it’s because of how charming the cast is.”
The 92nd Academy Awards are set to take place Sunday, February 9. The telecast will broadcast on ABC.