South Korea’s Parasite makes Oscar history with best film win

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KWAK SIN AE and Bong Joon Ho win Oscar for Best Picture for Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Feb. 9.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — South Korean social satire Parasite won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday, making history as the first film not in the English language to win the movie industry’s highest honor.

Parasite, about the gap between rich and poor in modern Seoul, won a total of four Oscars, including best director and screenplay for Bong Joon Ho and best international feature.

“I never thought I would win,” Bong said while accepting his best director Oscar. Paying tribute to his four fellow director nominees he said, “I would like to get a Texas chainsaw and split the Oscar into five and share it all with you.”

Bong is known for weaving social themes into stories that play as both comedies and thrillers. His movies include the surreal animal activist movie Okja, climate change sci-fi drama Snowpiercer, and serial killer drama Memories of Murder.

Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar, for best actor, for his terrifying performance as an isolated loner who becomes one of the world’s best known comic book villains in Joker, and invoked his late brother River Phoenix, climate change and animal rights in one of the most emotional acceptance speeches of the night.

His Oscar win made Phoenix the second person to get an Academy Award for playing the Joker character. Heath Ledger won a posthumous best supporting actor Oscar in 2009 for playing the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Renee Zellweger was crowned best actress for her portrait of Hollywood legend Judy Garland in Judy, a biographical drama exploring the singer’s personal and professional turmoil at the end of her life.

It marked the second Oscar victory in four nominations for Zellweger, 50, a Texas-born performer whose immersion in the role of Garland also earned Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA awards.

World War One movie 1917 won three Oscars, for its stunning “one-shot” feel cinematography, for visual effects and for sound editing, while Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood brought the first acting Oscar for Brad Pitt, who played a supporting role as a laid-back stunt man.

Laura Dern took the supporting actress Oscar, her first Academy Award, for playing a ruthless divorce lawyer in Marriage Story.

Netflix movie The Irishman a costly Mafia saga directed by Martin Scorsese that had 10 Oscar nominations, came away empty- handed. — Reuters