For director Bong Joon-Ho and the cast of Parasite, February 9, 2020 is a day they'll never forget.
Otherwise known as the day of the 92nd Academy Awards, and the very same ceremony during which the celebrated South Korean thriller bagged four golden statuettes — from Best Original Screenplay all the way to Best Picture. The film continued its shocking award season sweep, sending the BongHive into a frenzy and delighting movie buffs across the globe.
This level of success has been something of a wild ride for Bong, who has noted across a variety of interviews that he never could have imagined the intensity that fans have championed Parasite around the world in addition to his native South Korea. Nevertheless, the film made a veritable splash in several ways this evening as it secured Oscars left and right.
Here's a look back at all the ways Parasite made history during the Academy Awards.
Parasite wins Best Original Screenplay
The Parasite victory train pulled out of the station early on in the night. Bong and Han Jin-Won, Parasite's screenwriters, made Oscars history by taking home South Korea's first-ever Academy Award — period — for Best Original Screenplay.
It was the beginning of a magical night for the film's cast, who had plenty of reasons to celebrate as the ceremony went on.
"Great honor," Joon-ho began in English, before finishing his speech in Korean by way of his translator Sharon Choi. "Writing a script is always such a lonely process. We never write to represent our countries."
"But this is very first Oscar to South Korea," he concluded in English, a huge grin on his face. This win marked Parasite's first major win at the Academy Awards, but it also made history for South Korea. Not to mention, Bong and Han's win also signaled the first time a foreign-language film had won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay since Pedro Almodovar took it home in 2003.
But the night was still young for Parasite.
Parasite wins Best International Feature Film
Bong's next win came in the form of an Oscar for Best International Feature Film.
This marked South Korea's first win in the international film category, which meant — you guessed it — it made history a second time. The director made his second speech of the evening, then jokingly proclaimed he was about ready to go out and get his drink on.
"All our loving crew members and cast members are here with us today. Please send a round of applause to the cast and crew members of Parasite." The crowd cheered on Bong and the rest of the cast who brought the film to life.
"I congratulate all the great artists here tonight," he said. "Thank you, and I'm ready to drink tonight... until next morning."
Bong Joon-Ho receives the Oscar for Best Director
Poor Bong Joon-ho had only just lamented how much he needed a drink. Then he was called back onstage again to accept the award on behalf of Parasite's third win of the night for Best Director — a happy surprise for your Oscar ballots.
Bong pulled off a huge upset by taking home the Academy Award for Best Director over favorite 1917's Sam Mendes. He thought he was finished with the whole rigmarole after taking his seat once more following his win for Best International Feature. Instead, he continued to rake in the little gold men.
"After winning Best International Feature I thought I was done for the day and ready to relax," he joked, before his speech took a more touching note.
"When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart: The most personal is most creative," he said. "That quote was by the great Martin Scorsese." He thanked Quentin Tarantino for his continued support and called out Todd Phillips and Sam Mendes for being directors he "admired" as well.
"If the Academy allows, I would like to get a chainsaw and split the award into five and share it with all of you." He humbly continued to thank his fellow filmmakers before heading back to his seat once more.
Parasite made history — again — by securing the Best Picture Academy Award
By the end of the ceremony, Bong was likely on the edge of his seat ready to hit the bar. That feeling likely intensified when the show turned the corner to offer up the highest honor yet: the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In the blink of an eye, Bong was transformed into a four-time Academy Award winner, cementing his film as well as his native South Korea as history-making Oscar legends. The entire cast took to the stage this time, but Bong let the producers speak to the movie's success, clearly ready to break away and have a drink after the night's marathon of accolades.
Producer Kwak Sin-Ae accepted the award, saying she was "speechless," adding, "We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy."
"I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now," she added.
With this win, Parasite had bagged a number of awards this season, which began back in May 2019 at the Cannes Film Festival after the film was awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or, making it the first South Korean film to be awarded such a distinction. For Bong Joon-Ho, he's still trying to wrap his head around his film's runaway success.
"I never imagined it, and now that we're under this roof it feels even more surreal," Bong told MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz on the Oscars red carpet when asked about if he could ever have envisioned Parasite reaching such heights. And while he's not one for making plans, he does have a post-Oscars plan in mind for him and his Parasite crew.
"After this, we're gonna go drinking," he said. "Once I start drinking, you'll see all the classiness just go out of me."
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