Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite versus Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari; pick your favorite Oscar winning Korean film

As the Oscars 2024 roll out, let's take a look at two of the greatest Korean films that created history at the awards shows: Parasite and Minari. Pick the one that you think became your favorite.

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As the Oscars 2024 unfold, it's worth reflecting on two groundbreaking Korean films that made history at previous ceremonies of this prestigious award show: Parasite and Minari. These films not only secured prestigious awards but also left a significant mark on the Korean film industry.

Parasite is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller film helmed by acclaimed director Bong Joon Ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Han Jin Won and co-produced the film. The stellar cast includes Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Jang Hye Jin, Park Myung Hoon, and Lee Jung Eun. The story revolves around a poor family who infiltrates into the lives of a wealthy family. Bong Joon Ho drew inspiration for the script from a play he penned in 2013, as well as from the 1960 Korean film The Housemaid and the Christine and Léa Papin incident of the 1930s.

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Among its numerous accolades, Parasite clinched an impressive four Academy Awards at the 92nd Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. Notably, it made history as the first non-English-language film to win the prestigious Academy Award for Best Picture. Furthermore, Parasite is the first South Korean film to receive any Academy Award recognition, marking a significant milestone for Korean cinema. Additionally, it joins an elite group of only three films to have won both the Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Picture, a remarkable achievement not seen in over 60 years.

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Minari, on the other hand, is a 2020 American drama film penned and directed by Lee Isaac Chung. The cast includes Steven Yeun, Han Ye Ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Youn Yuh Jung, and Will Patton. Drawing from Chung's own experiences, the film offers a semi-autobiographical portrayal of a South Korean immigrant family striving to establish themselves in rural Arkansas during the 1980s.

The film received widespread critical acclaim, with particular praise directed towards Lee Isaac Chung's direction and screenplay, as well as the standout performances of Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh Jung. The score also garnered appreciation from critics and audiences alike. Many critics hailed it as one of the top films of 2020. 

At the 93rd Academy Awards, Minari secured six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor for Steven Yeun, and Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh Jung. Notably, Youn Yuh Jung's win marked a historic moment as she became the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award for acting. Minari has continued to receive acclaim and has been recognized as one of the standout films of the 2020s and the 21st century.

Out of the two equally amazing films, pick your favorite from the poll below!

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About The Author

Pratyusha Dash is an English Literature Graduate from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies with a deep passion for Korean

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