In a neck-and-neck race between 1917 and Parasite, the latter ultimately came out on top, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture during Sunday's 92nd annual Academy Awards.
Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho, his cast and the entire Parasite team took the stage to accept the top award of the night. It is the first time an international film has won the category, and the first time an Asian producer has won the Oscar for Best Picture in the ceremony's 92-year history.
"I'm speechless," Parasite producer Kwak Sin-ae said through an interpreter when she took the stage on Sunday. "We never imagined any of this to happen. We are so happy."
"I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now," she continued, growing emotional as her speech continued. "I express my deepest gratitude to the members of the Academy for making this decision."
Entertainment mogul Miky Lee, who is a key player in the Korean media conglomerate CJ Group, also thanked Bong for being the fearless leader behind Parasite. "I like everything about him. His smile, his crazy hair. The way he talks. The way he walks," Lee said. "And especially the way he directs."
Lee's speech almost went unheard, however, as the lights had dimmed signaling the end of the show. It took an enthusiastic crowd, led by stars like Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron, to bring the house lights back up so Lee could be heard.
Immediately after the film's history-making victory, Bong expressed his gratitude for Parasite's big win backstage.
A genre-bending comedy about the haves and have nots and drama in one family's fight to climb the ladder of aspirationalism, Parasite established itself as an Oscars frontrunner after winning the Cannes Film Festival's top honor, the Palme d'Or, and SAG's ensemble award.
"The Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards were big surprises," director Bong recently told ET. "But of course the Academy, it was a big surprise for me, our team and also just everyone in Korea. Because it is the very first time -- for me and also [the] Korean industry."
Now, it has made history multiple times over: Parasite was the first South Korean film to be nominated by the Academy, the first South Korean film to win an Oscar and, finally, the first non-English language film to ever win Best Picture. (Of its six total nominations, Parasite ultimately won four, including Best Director for Bong, Best International Feature and Best Original Screenplay.)
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ET spoke with director Bong on the red carpet ahead of the Oscars, where he reflected on having already made history before the ceremony even started and possibly doing so several more times over during the show
"It's cinema's strength to communicate with a universal audience," he said. "So in some ways, it feels very inevitable."
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