Parasite

Parasite ★★★★½

No real change. I’m still kind of astonished that this became the darling of this year’s Oscars--which was less than two months ago as of this writing but feels like something that happened in another lifetime--since it adheres to no self-congratulatory award season narrative I can think of (unless you think voting for a violent, foreign-language film from a tiny distributor about how your personal assistants and housekeepers resent you for treating them like beasts of burden is somehow signaling “wokeness”). Presumably some percentage of the people who voted for GREEN BOOK just a year earlier also voted for this film which I guess gives me hope for people’s capacity to contain multitudes and eventually do the right thing (I’m glancing in your general direction, Rust Belt voters). Must concede, on second viewing I find it slightly over-written, repeatedly emphasizing its themes through dialogue (I’d somehow forgotten than Ki Woo says “it’s so metaphorical” three times, Ki Taek teasing out “I have a plan” over three or four scenes, Mr. Kim going on about employees “going over the line,” pretty much everything said during the Kim family’s drunken revelry in the Park living room) as though Bong and his co-writer were worried anyone might miss what they’re trying for. Better in its throw away details that only feel telling in hindsight (e.g. Mr Kim complaining that the old housekeeper ate enough for two, the set-up and payoff of Da Song’s “ghost”/seizure). And it remains a model of economical, visual filmmaking with every camera movement and edit exactly what it needs to be without ever feeling remotely ostentatious. Feels like something they’ll be teaching in film schools for decades. Rarely is greatness this universally self-evident.