8. An Oscar-winning movie: Parasite (2019)
List Progress: 3/12 (+1)
(I saw this on Friday, but was delighted when I got to use it for the Oscar-winner category.)
The social-drama horror movie Parasite is definitely an odd one, with a serious pivot in tone late in the film that completely changes your sense of what sort of film you’re watching. It has certainly earned the acclaim that it’s collected, but I would avoid spoilers before seeing it if you are still able. All you really need to know is that Parasite follows a close-knit impoverished family as they gradually work a scheme to all get hired by a wealthy family, mostly by pretending they are not related and have heard of each other as highly-recommended tutors/drivers/housekeepers. It’s a clever premise that uses a lot of layered lying and scheming to build tension gradually, culminating in explosions of suppressed tension and rage at the end. It’s not always an easy film to watch, but it’s a lovely one with a lot of very powerful storytelling.
This South Korean film by director Bong Joon Ho takes on a lot of themes right off the bat, targeting capitalism and class difference in general, with specific ire for the system of networking that is the only way to make forward momentum, profiting off of who you know, rather than what you can do. The characters do still feel like developed characters, thankfully, with their own loves, hates and inner lives. It would have been so easy for these characters to be chess pieces, but both families are filled with real people.
It probably isn’t one of my all-time favorite film; the story feels so direct in scope that it doesn’t leave me wanting more like some of my favorite movies, but it is lovely and cutting. And it is wonderful to see an international film get the respect and recognition it deserves.
Would I Recommend It: Yes.