“Parasite” has officially infected Hollywood’s award season. Bong Joon Ho’s Korean class satire became the first foreign language film to take top honors from the Screen Actors Guild on Sunday, setting itself up as a legitimate best picture contender to the front-runner “1917” at next month’s Academy Awards.
The best ensemble win for “Parasite” came over the starry epics “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and “The Irishman.” It was a surprise but only to a degree. “Parasite,” up for six Oscars including best picture, has emerged as perhaps the stiffest competition for Sam Mendes’ “1917,” which won at the highly predictive Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.
But “Parasite” was the clear crowd favorite Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, where even the cast’s appearance introducing the film drew a standing ovation. Yet until the SAG Awards, the many honors for “Parasite” have seldom included awards for its actors, none of whom were nominated for an Oscar.
“Although the title is ‘Parasite,’ I think the story is about coexistence and how we can all live together,” said Song Kang Ho, one of the film’s stars, through a translator.
Because actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, their picks are watched as an Academy Awards harbinger.
But the last two years, the SAG ensemble winner has not won best picture.