Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Parasite’ Reels In Six Oscar Nominations: What This Could Mean for Hollywood


With the explosive success of ‘Parasite’ overtaking the American public, it almost seemed as though the reveal of the 92nd Academy Award’s Oscar nominations should come as no surprise to anyone. In fact, the response has been immensely positive, with even publications such as the Los Angeles Times and many more deeming this moment “history-making.

So why has ‘Parasite’ being nominated for six Oscar categories accumulated such a well-deserved buzz? Because this would be the first time a South Korean film has ever been in the running to win best picture, despite the country itself having a colorful cinematic history. Over the years, a number of South Korean films have been submitted to the Foreign Language Film Award Committee but none have actually made the cut – including one of Bong Joon Ho’s previous films, ‘Mother,’ starring veteran actor Won Bin.


Now that ‘Parasite’ has reeled in much love from a Western audience, there has also been talk about how this box office hit would impact Hollywood film culture. However, back in September 2019, Bong Joon Ho has emphasized in an interview with IndieWire that he wanted to stay out of the Hollywood limelight and focus on making movies for his own scripts.

This doesn’t exactly mean that the film hasn’t made an impact in Hollywood. In fact, it has definitely broadened the spectrum of mainstream cinema. With more and more movies being released with a diversified, POC-centered cast, representation has no longer become a question – rather it has become the standard.

Bong, on the other hand, has popularized film that remains true to one’s culture by featuring an all-Korean cast and encouraging the audience to forgo their aversion to subtitles. As he accepted his award for best foreign-language film at the Golden Globes this year, the ‘Parasite’ director stated, “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

All-in-all, ‘Parasite’ has undeniably made history, as critics claim. However, it seems as though Bong Joon Ho hopes that this would only open doors for more foreign-language cinematic masterpieces to take their turn in the spotlight.

Julie Kim

Asia Journal

(Los Angeles Times Advertising Supplement)