“Writing a script is always such a lonely process,” director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho said through an interpreter. “We never write to represent our country.” Switching into English, he continued, “but this is very first Oscar to South Korea.”
In fact, Parasite is also the first film from anywhere in Asia to win in the category. Other foreign-language films, among them Talk to Her and A Man and a Woman, have pulled off the feat.
Han Jin Won, co-writer of the screenplay, spoke through an interpreter, thanking his wife and “all the actors for bringing this film to life.”
Parasite, released in the U.S. by Neon, has grossed nearly $36 million Stateside, one of the best tallies by any subtitled film, with critics saluting its deft blend of class commentary, comedy and edge-of-the-seat thriller elements. Around the world, the film has collected almost $167 million.
During the awards season, the widely admired film became a crowd favorite due to the bemused and humble remarks of Bong, who often made note of the elite company he was keeping on the campaign trail. Despite being the filmmaker who launched a thousand memes and threads, Bong is not active on Twitter.
Diane Keaton, presenting with Keanu Reeves, let out a loud whoop after Reeves read the winners’ names, underscoring the groundswell of support for Parasite in the industry. Several awards shows have featured presenters stumping for the film as the best of the year.