Parasite ★★★★½

No doubt you don't need me to tell you that this remarkably original, arrestingly vital and funny thriller-with-a-touch-of-Viridiana is likely the best and most beautiful film of the year, but it's so riveting and fun and completely wild that I'd be remiss if I didn't at least try to sell you on it on the offchance that I had any influence over you. If this is playing near you, see it, and read absolutely nothing else about it beforehand -- not because knowing where it's headed would ruin it, quite the opposite, but because you really deserve to take a ride on this particular rollercoaster. So here's what I can say without spoilers: the acting is uniformly phenomenal, the acerbic treatment of poverty as a symptom of societal rot is completely on-point and universal, almost incidentally seeming to tap brutally into the mood of the times for those living under capitalism, the aesthetics are vivid and galvanizing, and the script walks the perfect line between cynicism and heartbreak in a way that feels throttling and disruptive. I really hope the Academy nominations cause a lot of people who would normally never go out and see a subtitled movie to take the plunge on this experience.

(FWIW, I've seen two of Bong's prior films and wasn't particularly high on either. This, though, this was something else.)