Parasite Becomes First Foreign Language Film To Win Best Picture Oscar

Foreign movies do not often walk away with the highest accolade, as they rely on viewers to concentrate on reading subtitles or listening to someone from a voice over agency for the duration of the film.

However, things appear to be changing as a non-English speaking flick has become the first ever to win the Best Picture gong at the Academy Awards.

On Sunday, February 9th, Parasite was announced the winner of the most prestigious Oscar, after also walking away with three other accolades that evening.

The South Korean movie beat off stiff competition, with 1917, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, The Irishman, Little Women, Jojo Rabbit, and Marriage Story all losing out to the comparatively low-budget flick.

Director, writer and producer Bong Joon Ho could not believe the reception the comedy-thriller had, particularly on international audiences, with translator Kwak Sin Ae saying he was “speechless” when picking up the gong.

“We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now. I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all the members of the Academy for making this decision. Thank you,” the producer went on to say.

The film – which tells the story about two families from different social classes in Seoul and how the poor family manipulates the richer one – also won Directing, International Feature Film and Writing (Original Screenplay), proving it really impressed members of the Academy.

A description from the Oscars about the film says: “In Parasite, greed, class discrimination, and a mysterious interloper threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.”

While it is thought to have cost just $11.4 million (£8.8 million) to make, it has raked in more than $165 million since its release in October 2019, showing just how profitable it has been.

In comparison, one of the other nominations in the Best Picture category, Ford vs Ferrari, cost $97.6 million to make, and brought home $223.6 million worldwide from ticket sales.

Parasite could now be made into a limited television series, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Bong Joon Ho working with American director/producer Adam McKay to elaborate on the movie for HBO.

Speaking to ‘Extra’ on Sunday night after his Oscar win, the director revealed: “We started discussions with Adam McKay. We’re doing our best to make sure we create a high-quality limited series.”

If it is made into a series, it remains to be seen whether the story will remain in Korean, have subtitles like the movie, or be voiced by English-speaking actors and actresses.

While the Oscar win is certainly a huge achievement for the movie, as well as a record-breaking moment for the film industry, it is not entirely a shock Parasite cleaned up at the Academy Awards.

It had already won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, a BAFTA award for Best Foreign Language Film, a British Independent Film Award for Best International Independent Film, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.