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The Oscars did something right! FilmScene audiences cheered for ‘Parasite,’ honored snubbed films Sunday

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Park So-dam with the Foscar-winning peach in ‘Parasite’ — film still

All of Hollywood is nursing a hangover, so you know what that means: It’s the Monday after the Academy Awards! After a disappointing 2019 Oscars (including a Best Picture winner that was more than a little controversial) and a slate of 2020 nominees rife with snubs — see: Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), everyone involved in The Farewell and others — cinephiles’ expectations were tempered last night. But they were in for a pleasant surprise, or four.

While the acting awards went to the same ol’ folks who’ve been collecting trophies all awards season — Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Renée Zellweger (Judy) and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker; Phoenix also had a stand-out speech, from his critique of animal exploitation to an extremely rare reference to his late brother, River Phoenix) — one film swept the other big categories, to the delight of fans of filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, Korean cinema, class warfare in film and just good goddamn movies.

Palme d’Or winner Parasite entered L.A.’s Dolby Theatre in a similar position as Roma last year: As a critically acclaimed, subtitled film with nominations in both the foreign language film (rebranded as “international film” for the 2020 Academy Awards) and best picture categories, among others. Both, inevitably, won the international prize, and even Best Director. But unlike Roma, Parasite, a comedy/drama/thriller about the fraught relationship between two Korean families of very different class status, dominated the Oscars. The film won four of the six categories in which it was nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director and — drum roll, please — Best Picture.

In all these categories, Parasite made history. It is the first Korean film to be nominated in the foreign language/international film category. It is the first non-English language film to win Best Picture in the Oscars’ 92 years. Bong Joon-ho is the first Korean director to win Best Director, and a screenwriter award (which he shared with Han Jin-won).

Considering the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is largely old, white and male, it’s hard not to pump your fist when, once in a Moonlight, they pass over Oscar-fodder films about war, cars and Hollywood history for a subtitled Korean film commenting on the evils of modern capitalism.

Just ask the guests at FilmScene’s Blue Carpet Bash Oscar watch party.

SORRY I THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONTAIN MYSELF IN ORDER TO PROPERLY FILM THIS MOMENT IN CASE IT HAPPENED. #parasite #neonrated #oscars #oscars2020 #quadruplethreat #icfilmscene #bestcinematographygoestome

Posted by Rebecca Fons on Sunday, 9 February 2020

In January, FilmScene announced that Parasite had become their most-viewed movie ever. Screenings of the film began on Nov. 15 and have continued non-stop, first at the Chauncey, and now at FilmScene’s Ped Mall location.

Parasite may have dominated the Oscars, but the Foscars saw a range of underdog films and performers collect titles. The Foscars, an annual awards contest judged by the “FilmScene academy of patrons” (in other words, anyone who filled out this Google survey), strays rather liberally from the Academy Awards formula.

Here are the Foscars’ 2020 winners:

Revelation Award (a film that opens our eyes to new cultural perspectives): Tied between Honeyland and The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors and Danny Glover in ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco.’ — film still

What a Night! Award (the best single night screening or event at FilmScene): The Awful Purdies’ live score of Cinema Pioneers for Women’s March, March 13, 2019

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Unforgettable Performance, Female: Lee Jung-eun, Parasite

Unforgettable Performance, Male: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in ‘Joker’ (2019) — film still

The Perfect Chemistry Award: Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse

Breakthrough Award: Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit

Thomasin McKenzie, Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi in ‘Jojo Rabbit.’ — film still

Scene Stealer Award (the most dominant non-human performance): The peach in Parasite

The Holy Sh*t Award (the most jaw-dropping film of the year): Parasite

Play It Again Award (the best revival or restoration): Do The Right Thing, 30th anniversary

We Can Handle The Truth Award (unexpected, groundbreaking or impactful nonfiction filmmaking): Honeyland

‘Honeyland,’ directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov. — film still

Crowdpleaser Award (the most enjoyable trip to the movies): Little Women

Original Vision Award (the most unique filmmaking vision): Alma Har’el, director of Honey Boy

The Snubbie (the biggest Oscar nomination oversight): Greta Gerwig for Best Director, Little Women

Check the FilmScene calendar for screenings of Parasite — including a black-and-white version — and fellow Academy Award nominees Les Miserables, Little Women, 1917 and the Oscar-nominated short films in live action, animated and documentary. Oscar snub Portrait of a Lady on Fire opens Wednesday.

Peruse the full list of 2020 Academy Awards nominees and winners here. (Shout-out to Taika Watiti, the first Māori person to win an Oscar.)


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