While I don’t happen to personally agree that Parasite deserved the Best Picture Oscar (if I was an Academy member I would’ve voted for The Irishman), I respect what happened last night. The fervor, I mean, was obviously strong and Bong Joon-ho ruled the roost with four Oscars — Best Picture, Best International Feature, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
I am, however, bothered by the double shot overlap between Best Picture and Best Int’l Feature.
So here’s what seems to have happened, and please correct me if I’m wrong on some level. Even with the preferential ballot dynamic, which meant that a clear majority of Parasite Best Picture supporters didn’t necessarily manifest on the first round of vote counting, most Academy members decided to simultaneously give the Best Picture Oscar AND the Best International Feature Oscar to Parasite.
They didn’t consider the double-shot overlap factor. They mentally compartmentalized, and in so doing refused to consider the overall equation. Not enough of them said “as I strongly believe in Parasite for Best Picture” — which is totally fine, of course — “then I’m going to spread the love around by giving the Best Int’l Feature Oscar to the absolutely deserving Les Miserables or Pain and Glory.“
Instead an apparent (or preferential ballot-ized) majority said to themselves “an overlapping double-shot of Parasite love works for me! Parasite is sooo overwhelmingly good and sooo much better than Pain and Glory or Les Miserables that it deserves both Oscars.”
Am I allowed to say this way of voting is highly questionable? And that the Academy should take steps to prevent it from happening again?
How would you feel about this if you were Ladj Ly or Pedro Almodovar?
Additional question: To what extent (if any) was Parasite’s overwhelming triumph attributable to lingering resentment among the diversity-above-all crowd (i.e., the New Academy Kidz) over Green Book’s Best Picture win last year? How many Parasite supporters said to themselves “above and beyond my genuine affection for Parasite, this will teach those older-white-person supporters a lesson, or at least will balance things out”?
An excerpt from Owen Gleiberman’s post-Oscar assessment piece, filed this morning: