Los Angeles film critics give best movie, best director prizes to South Korea's Parasite

Parasite starring (from left) Choi Woo-sik, Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin and Park So-dam. PHOTO: NEON/CJ ENTERTAINMENT

Who is afraid of the mob?

Not the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, which on Sunday (Dec 8) named South Korean flick Parasite ahead of gangster epic The Irishman as Best Movie of the Year.

Parasite also picked up two other top prizes, with Bong Joon-ho bagging Best Director and Song Kang-ho Best Supporting Actor.

The Irishman came in second in the tussle for Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese) and Best Supporting Actor (Joe Pesci).

Antonio Banderas won Best Actor for portraying a film director in physical decline in Pain And Glory, while Mary Kay Place took Best Actress for her role as a widow in Diane.

The victories for Parasite extend its prize-winning run, including bagging the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May and Best Foreign Language Film from the New York Film Critics Circle.

There is now talk Parasite can go on to get a Best Movie Oscar nomination. The contenders will be announced on Jan 13.

Cinema fans feel recognition for Korean film-making is long overdue from Oscar voters, even as directors such as Park Chan-wook and movies such as Oldboy (2003) and Train To Busan (2016) have influenced the American movie industry.

But with Bong poised for an Oscar breakthrough, will Hollywood be tempted to get him to direct a superhero movie to get an "Asian" flavour that will position it better in the huge Chinese market?

In an interview with Variety, he said he would not be afraid to say no.

"I have a personal problem. I respect the creativity that goes into superhero films, but in real life and in movies, I can't stand people wearing tight-fitting clothes," he said.

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