Oscars 2020: Did Parasite deserve to win Best Picture?
For the win
Critically acclamed Korean drama Parasite (2019) made history on Sunday night, becoming the very first non-English language movie to pick up 'Best Picture' along with 'Best Director', 'Best Original Screenplay', and 'Best International Feature Film' awards at the Oscars.
Considering an overall lacklustre show on and off the red carpet — we were all rooting for you, Timothée — I contemplated the significance of the occasion for both the film, and more importantly, the Academy, with beauty writer and pop culture fanatic Emily Heng.
Aravin: The big question is, does Parasite deserve its Oscar awards? I'd argue that it deserves three of the awards except 'Best Picture'. The Academy simply wanted to show that it is indeed moving progressively, because it has been irrelevant these past few years.
Emily: Sure, they might be trying to appease their critics, promote diversity, and be more progressive, but I don't think Parasite would have got this far if it didn't have substance and quality.
Aravin: It'll be interesting to find out how many Americans have actually watched it at this point. I'm not saying that the movie didn't have substance. Director Bong Joon-ho's depiction of inequality as a theme was way better than anything that we've seen on-screen so far. But did it deserve to be 'Best Picture' compared to the rest of the nominees, even Martin Scorsese's The Irishman?
Emily: Overall, Parasite had a stronger message compared to the rest of the movies.
Aravin: Is it because they're Asian?
Emily: I'll admit that it's also about Asian pride, but other than Crazy Rich Asians, I can't name another Asian movie that generated enough buzz to warrant an best picture nod over the last few years.
Aravin: That's exactly my point. The Academy voted for it, because they simply couldn't wait for another brilliant Asian movie come out; they needed to get that notch under their belt and orchestrate yet another history-making moment for the headlines.
Emily: It's certainly good timing.
Aravin: Even better, I feel like Parasite was such a good movie that it didn't even need the Oscar hype. It was undoubtedly a good movie and everyone knew it.
Emily: Didn't Bong Joon-ho pass a shady comment, saying that the Oscars aren't an international festival and they were very local? Considering Bong Joon-ho's previous works, it's going to be good exposure no matter what. Now, more people are going to be watching Asian movies.
Aravin: Well, they'll need to get comfortable with reading subtitles first.
Aravin: Let's say, Parasite wasn't nominated. What would this year's Oscars stand for?
Emily: I wouldn't have cared.
Parasite is currently screening at selected cinemas islandwide. Alternatively, catch up on all of the 2020 Oscar winners — including 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Toy Story 4, and Jojo Rabbit — from the comfort of your home via the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac as well as selected LG and Samsung smart TVs.