Let's talk about the film P by Bong Joo-ho and why his victory at the 2020 Academy Awards rewrites history. But will it really mark a change of course for the Oscars?

I am not one of those who spend sleepless nights watching ceremonies.

I would like to share the trust and enthusiasm of those who do it. Just as I would like to believe that if I stay up to wait for the election results, my distance support will influence the outcome. But my character is that of the cynical bitch who thinks she already knows what awaits her and who first wakes up to her cell phone to see if she was right. In this regard, you can see the results of the Oscars 2020 Thu!

But this morning it was curious to open your eyes and find out what Oscarbait 1917 (which we talked about qui!) was not the best film according to the Academy. And not getting it right from time to time is what makes things fun.

The Parasite Kim family
The Kim in family P

Why P was not given as a favorite at the 2020 Academy Awards?

I don't want to bore you with an explanation on mechanisms and the history of the Academy Awards, which however I consider important for those who want to understand and really know the matter. Fortunately, the Wisecrack team recently dealt with the topic certainly better than I could do, so I invite anyone who was not already well versed in the matter to watch this video. Don't be frightened by the clickbait title: it's interesting, I swear.

As much as I am the first to say that the awards have no meaning in themselves and as much as I believe it is difficult to understand the total value of a film without making it face the test of time, it is equally true that with this Oscar P writes history. Not only, in fact, it is the first non-English film to take home the award (blah blah, The Artist, blah blah). But it is also a film that, although it deals with social themes very dear to the Academy, does not belong to any of the genres historically most appreciated in this context.

Let's be clear, P it was definitely my favorite among the films competing this year (of the 2019 Oscars we talked about here!), but like many others I was prepared for a result in line with what has already been seen during the past Golden Globes and BAFTA. In the beginning I definitely wasn't expecting a Golden Globe in 1917, but at this point the Oscar seemed painfully predictable to me. Even the idea of ​​a fling to Quentin Tarantino in view of the end of his career had caressed my mind (without completely persuading me). In short, I thought that being the only "non-white" film candidate for the most coveted statuette was not enough for either P.

The plot of P and the other Bong Joon-ho films

As well as Bong Joon-ho is foreign to the logic of western cinema in general and American in particular. Indeed, films like Snowpiercer (which, I must confess, bored me to death in 2013!) and the made-in-Netflix Okja of 2017 are only the examples known to most. But P, in its cathartic tragedy, is definitely a Korean film.

In P, director Bong Joon-ho leads us to get to know the poor woman Kim family. The Kim are four unemployed who succeed, combining cunning and the desire to social compensation, to replace all the servants of the wealthy Park family. In a crescendo of tension in which there are no reversals and twists, the question that the film offers us seems to be: who is the parasite?

Who will be the real parasites of Parasite?
Who will be the real parasites of P?

Joker e P: comparison of issues

Thematic proximity to the American Joker (which we talked about quie Thu!) stands out immediately. In fact, both films touch the theme of division between social classes with all your hand, but with some fundamental differences.

If indeed the dominant idea behind Joker is the concept of recognition (Arthur wants to be seen, recognized, as a son, as a comedian, as a human being), the red thread that holds together P and that marks the lives of the protagonists is the hope. And it is precisely the hope to which the Kim clings to bring them to ruin, taking the form of an ornamental stone.

P and its proximity to the Greek tragedy perhaps make the themes of the film timeless, while the keys touched by Joker they seem closer to the historical moment we are living in this moment. Which of the two will age better? I have my idea, but we will know for sure only in about ten years.

A very predictable twist on an Oscar night

What we need to ask now is whether this triumph (in fact there are 4 figurines awarded in total!) Truly represents a willingness on the part of Hollywood to change the rules of the game and at least partially change its dynamics. It is true that for the rest of the ceremony there were no particular surprises.

Joaquin Phoenix we find it in the same place that replicates the speech offered to us at the BAFTA Awards. In that sense, I am so sorry that Adam Driver threw himself into A Marriage Story the same year that that magnificent Phoenix bastard went hungry to give us a great performance. Also Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt e Laura Dern are reconfirmed in their respective categories. Who is the big absentee? The Irishman, which out of 10 applications does not bring home one, confirming the bulk wasted on Netflix, which only gets two prizes out of 24 eligible candidates.

In short, if P is definitely a notable twist for the Academy Awards, this year it was also the only one. It is therefore not certain that it marks the beginning of a change.