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“Parasite” – the Dark Horse of the Oscars 2020

As the 2020 Oscars are approaching, the current rising star for this year’s nominees is none other than the movie Parasite (2019) by director Bong Joon Ho. Let’s decode how this extraordinary movie owns up to six nominations for this year’s Oscars. 



Parasite (2019) is a comedic satire that contains a thriller element about the rigid social hierarchy in South Korea. The movie focuses on the story of two families. The poverty aspect is portrayed through the Park family and, vice-versa, the wealthy aspect is shown through the Kim family. The whole movie shows the Park family’s wicked scheme to slowly invade the Kim family as their helpers. The entire plan is based on the naivety of the Kim family and the desperation for a better life from the Park family. Consequently, a realistic and crucial picture of wealth disparity is vividly illustrated through the brilliant storyline. 

The consistent metaphor of wealth disparity is shown through the excessive use of the staircase. From the film’s trailer, the audience may notice how the Park family is living in a basement with a half window while the Kim family is living on a hill with natural sunlight. Notably, the binary composition of this metaphor runs throughout the movie. As a result, this reflects how social disparity is extremely apparent and people receive it as if it’s a common thing. The normalization of social hierarchy heightens the climax at the end of the movie which I will not spoil for your own good. Along with the staircase, a variety of witty metaphors are employed in the film to construct the theme of inequality that Bong Joon Ho included in his other works such as Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017).

Therefore, with this exceptional work that Bong Joon Ho produced, Parasite (2019) earned up to six nominations including “Best Director,” “International Feature,” “Original Screenplay,” “Best Picture,” “Production Design,” and “Film Editing.” Despite having a lot of strong competitors, many critics predict Parasite (2019) will have promising results from the Oscars 2020. 

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