Parasite was an exceptional movie, by which I mean it was a literal outlier. I don’t know anyone who saw it who didn’t like it, including those grumps at the Honest Oscar Ballot – it was an actual feat in filmmaking.
Which is why it won Best Picture, even if everyone who puts money on this stuff thought Hollywood was going to go in a much more boring direction. It’s undeniable once you see it.
But the reason so many people saw it in the first place isn’t because of the good things they heard or their appetite for international cinema. It’s because everyone who sees him falls in love with Bong.
Bong Joon-ho is without a doubt the breakout star of awards season. He was that incredibly alluring combination of charming but utterly confident, a total newcomer but worlds away from a blushing, overwhelmed kid – and most importantly, he has been enjoying the bizarre assembly line that is a hit film during awards season, which seems almost impossible. And yet …
When he delivers gentle reproaches about how much amazing film there’s going to be when North American audiences get over ‘the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles’, he does it with a smirk. He knows you know. He giggles when he points out his cast like a proud dad. He poses for photos like this in Vanity Fair:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/SVdykz1aso— Blank Check Podcast (@blankcheckpod) February 10, 2020
Tonight he was in peak Bong form. He wins Best Original Screenplay, along with co-writer Han Jin Won, but uh… look what he was up to in the background:
Are you dying? How many times did you watch that back? “Hello, gorgeous.” I haven’t enjoyed watching someone win an award quite this much since Jordan Peele in 2018 – also for Best Original Screenplay.
Then as the night goes on he was clearly delighted to win Best International Feature, and when he was utterly shocked to win Best Director, he somehow turned it into film school!? “There was a saying that I carved deep into my heart, that the most personal is the most creative.” Who has this phrase committed to memory, is able to pull it out when they need it, and then attributes it to a hero he’s honouring in the moment?! And then makes a Texas Chainsaw joke?
He is making two of his Oscars make out like they’re Barbies! He is absolutely, positively, already really tipsy, and he’s going to continue to be, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out tomorrow that maybe he lost one or more of them at one point…
This is the best of all possible outcomes where ‘campaigning’ is concerned (otherwise known as ‘The Fleabag Principle’) – when the new fresh face we all want to be around is attached to the best thing we’ve seen all year.