Amid all the Braniston rumours and yet more awards for Joker, one of our favourite films of the year quietly made history. Parasite became the first foreign language film to win the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture in the history of the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The acclaimed South Korean thriller – a brutal commentary on class and wealth directed by Bong Joon-ho – trumped fellow nominees that boasted big-name movie stars: The Irishman, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. The cast also received a two-minute standing ovation from the Hollywood crowd when they presented the film earlier in the night, proving just how celebrated Parasite is.
The win is significant considering almost all of the winners at the ceremony – which included Laura Dern, Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Aniston, and the cast of The Crown – were white. The nominee pools were lacking in diversity to begin with (just like the Oscars), but actors of colour in the running this year included Jaime Foxx (Just Mercy), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Lupita Nyong'o (Us), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Mahershala Ali (True Detective), and Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us).
However, Parasite's individual actors – Chang Hyae-jin, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Jung Hyeon-jun, Jung Ji-so, Lee Jung-eun, Lee Sun-kyun, Park Myung-hoon, Park So-dam, Song Kang-ho – weren't nominated in individual acting categories.
For the Bong-directed film to win the biggest award at the SAGs is a small victory in an awards circuit where the actors (and directors) being recognised are mostly white. The roster of Golden Globes winners, BAFTA nominees, and Oscar nominees this year were all criticised for neglecting laudable performances from actors of colour.
There is some hope for Parasite at the 2020 Oscars on 9 February, where it's nominated for Best Picture and Best International Film. It's also a contender in the director, screenplay, production design and editing categories, but the cast was also pushed aside in solo acting categories.
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