Film

11th Time Is the Charm? Parasite and the Elusive Foreign Language Best Picture

Of the 91 Academy Awards, foreign-language films have only been nominated for Best Picture ten times. To date, no foreign-language film has received an Oscar in that category.

Last year, Netflix’s Roma seemed to be a front-runner for the award, but Green Book won in a controversial decision.

As the 2019 Palme d’Or winner, can Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite make history this February?


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The South Korean film, which debuted at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, looks like an early lock for a nomination and win, but is it possible for the film to earn more?

Parasite tells the story of a low-income family merging their lives with that of a wealthy family. This unpredictable thriller is an absolute standout in a heavily contested field this year.

Over the history of the Best Foreign Film award at the Oscars, South Korea has submitted 31 films for consideration. In response, they have received zero nominations.

In a field that includes The Irishman, The Farewell, Bombshell, Joker, Little Women, Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ford vs Ferrari, The Two Popes, Waves, 1917, and, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Parasite may have a tough road to a Best Picture nomination in comparison to the competition Roma faced last year.

However, Parasite’s Oscar campaign has been pushing points that will work for the film. Parasite is relatable to an international market where the former provided a snapshot of a country at a specific time.

Parasite looks to be the first Korean movie nominated for Best Foreign Film, but it has the juice to go so much further.

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