So 1917 will take the Best Picture Oscar, plus Joaquin Pheonix will win for Best Actor, Renee Zellweger for Best Actress, Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor, Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay going to Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or Parasite, Best Adapted Screenplay possibly going to Greta Gerwig for Little Women (angry female pushback + male guilt vote), 1917‘s Roger Deakins for Best Cinematography and Joker‘s Hildur Guðnadóttir for Best Score.
But you know what might happen? Bong might win for Best Director with everyone wanting to give him a compensation award with the realization that Parasite can’t win Best Picture. A Bong sympathy vote would not surprise me.
Last night HE regular Bob Strauss posted something along the lines of my not “getting” Parasite — that the magical Tinkerbell dust that has sprinkled onto its legions of admirers has somehow missed me (or I missed it).
HE response: The worst kind of empty elitist posturing is when the know-it-all laments or tut-tuts those who, in his-her judgment, don’t “get” the key takeaway or payoff in a film.
Believe me, I get what Parasite is saying. I certainly get the thrust. As would anyone with an IQ over 50 who’s willing to pay attention. It’s not some dense, endlessly fascinating puzzle-box thing.
Bong Joon-ho makes films for Average Popcorn Inhalers and Ramen-Eaters. He’s not some bearded wizard wearing a tall pointed hat or some secretive dispenser of thematic complexity or obscurity that you need a code book to understand.
His energy and passion have always been rooted in the fashioning and delivery of elegant film language and the use of careful, crafty, Swiss-watch-like exposition. High-impact visual conveyance for the whole family. Even the schmoes can understand.
Like peak-level DePalma he has a cheap streak tendency by way of avoiding understatement at all costs. He sees himself as a kind of South Korean DePalma or Hitchcock, and always with an element of pat social-political messaging.