The Lesser Column

“Parasite” Sweeps the Academy Awards, and by Rights It Should Have

Parasite is a film without peer or comparison, it sweeping the Oscars should not come as a surprise, as it is easily the best film of the last decade.

 

Parasite isn’t just the best film of the year, it’s the best film of the decade and probably one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

I’ve never quite experienced anything like it – a masterful eye from director Bong-Joon Ho, capturing so many different genre styles, and mastering them all at once. It’s a crime caper, it’s an intense thriller, a deeply moving family drama; it merges into something of a horror film, and is all wrapped up in the form of a savagely biting social satire and criticism of class structures and modern capitalism.

This from the director of the Netflix fantasy Okja, which achieved the impossible in making you feel deeply for a CGI-rendered genetically modified super pig.

And the kicker? I saw this thing on a plane, of all places. The headset was bad. But it had subtitles, which was a saving grace. But even when interrupting one’s viewing with an announcement from the flight deck that we were at a certain height and on time, Parasite still managed to be a captivating, stunning cinematic achievement.

 

 

I watched this film on a small screen, which was attached to an arm which extended from the side of my seat.

Midway through the film, I was given the choice of chicken or pasta, and then there’s the occasional interruption to inform me of cruising speed, height above sea level, and ETA at the destination. The screen was small, the headphones lacked, and there were innumerable distractions. But it’s still one of the best films I have ever seen.

 

 

Every last shot is magnificently composed. The cast is phenomenal – and the way Bong composes them, there is this odd duality in how the viewer relates to them: they’re all simultaneously villains and sympathetic heroes; that’s part of the genius, how one’s perceptions of them can turn within a scene, from a line of dialogue or the reaction from one player to another.

I hope for great things for the cast, especially Cho Yeo-jeong as the clueless wealthy wife and mother (I’d beg the Academy to give her the Supporting Actress Oscar); Song Kang-ho as the “chauffeur,” and Park So-dam as the “art therapist.”

Brilliant cast, brilliant film. A worthy winner.

 

 

The Lesser Column

The Lesser Column covers a broad spectrum of content. With a focus on film, we also publish reviews of music, books, TV shows, live theatre, and stand-up comedy, as well as occasional pieces of social and cultural commentary. Our reviews don’t give star ratings or "thumbs up/down" and come from a more personal perspective – why what’s on display affected us in the way it did, why it’s good or otherwise, how it fits in a broader cultural context. Here is where you come for informed opinion and analysis. People are often very selective about how and where they find themselves entertained, so we’re offering reasons why you should see, read, hear, and experience something beyond simply what it’s about.

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