‘Parasite’ inches closer to the Oscars with awards from Baftas, WGA

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‘Parasite’ inches closer to the Oscars with awards from Baftas, WGA


The chances of “Parasite” winning an Oscar, or even multiple Oscars, are higher than ever as Bong Joon-ho’s black comedy continues to take home awards from influential film associations and academies.
The film won two awards, including the ceremony’s best foreign language film award, at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) awards held Sunday in London.
At the ceremony of the Bafta film awards held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday (British time), the awards of Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Not in the English Language were given to “Parasite,” which was nominated in four categories, including Best Film and Best Director.
It is the second time that a Korean-made movie won an award at the Baftas following Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden,” which won the Best Film Not in the English Language in 2018.
In the best original screenplay section, “Parasite,” co-written by Bong and Han Jin-won, beat Rian Johnson of “Knives Out,” Noah Baumbach of “Marriage Story” and Quentin Tarantino of “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood.”
In the film not in the English language category, “Parasite” was nominated along with “The Farewell” by Lulu Wang, “Pain and Glory” by Pedro Almodovar, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” by Celine Sciamma and “For Sama” by Waad Al-Kateab.
“I didn’t expect this award at all, because this script was written in a foreign language,” the auteur said through an interpreter after accepting his screenplay award. “I once again would like [to] thank my amazing actors who actualized the dialogue and scenes that I wrote. I really believe that their body language and expressions are truly the universal language,” he said. “Thank you to Bafta for showing so much love to this film.”
Meanwhile, the war drama “1917” directed by Sam Mendes picked up seven awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
On Saturday, director Bong Joon-ho and co-writer Han Jin-won received the Writers Guild of America (WGA) award for Best Original Screenplay in dual ceremonies held in New York City and Los Angeles.
Art director Lee Ha-jun clinched the Art Directors Guild award in the contemporary film category at a ceremony also held in Los Angeles on Saturday.
At the WGA awards, “Parasite” beat out “Booksmart,” “1917,” “Knives Out” and “Marriage Story.” All but “Booksmart” are also up for the Academy Award in the best original screenplay category.
Picking up the top screenplay prize at the WGA awards bodes well for the Korean film’s chances at the Academy Awards next Sunday. In two of the past three years, the WGA winners in Best Original Screenplay have gone on to capture the Oscar in the same category: “Spotlight” in 2016 and “Get Out” in 2018. In 2017, “Moonlight” won WGA’s Best Original Screenplay award, then earned the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
According to Variety, Bong thanked the WGA for reading the translated script and said, “You understood the structure of our story and the nuance of our dialogue. It’s amazing.”
The cutting satire earned six nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director, at the Oscars slated for this coming Sunday.

BY LEE JAE-LIM, YONHAP [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]

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