Entertainment Korean dark comedy Parasite scoops top award at Cannes Film Festival

Korean dark comedy Parasite scoops top award at Cannes Film Festival

Director Bong Joon-Ho receives the Palme d'Or award for Parasite from Catherine Deneuve. Photo: Getty
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Parasite, a suspenseful dark comedy about class struggles directed by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho, has won the top Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Bong, who Australian audiences may know for his Netflix movie Okja about a giant pig destined for the abattoir, is the first Korean director to have won the top award at Cannes.

Parasite was a hit with the critics and tells the tale of two very different families – one wealthy and one poor – in an upstairs-downstairs situation.

Cannes Film Festival
Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho (centre) and cast at the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Getty

Bong’s film style is considered a genre of its own and critics have variously described his latest movie as a black comedy, suspense drama and bizarre satire.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood starring acting royalty Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Australian Margot Robbie, left empty handed despite also receiving widespread acclaim.

Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood which was widely praised but went home empty handed from Cannes. Photo: Getty

The movie considered the runner-up, winning the The Grand Prix, was Atlantique, a supernatural drama about African migrants by Senegalese director Mati Diop.

The movie, based on her 2009 short documentary, was Diop’s first feature-length film.

Parasite’s win adds to a successful run at the French cinema showcase for Asian films after Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda clinched the prestigious gong last year.

Cannes Film Festival
Sylvester Stallone presents Mati Diop with the runner-up Grand Prix award for her film Atlantique. Photo: Getty

Bong, who made his mark at Cannes in 2017 with Netflix-produced Okja, set his latest movie in modern South Korea.

It follows a down-on-their-luck family of four who spot an opportunity to con a wealthy household into giving them jobs.

They worm their way into the other family’s lives before things start going south.

Spain’s Antonio Banderas won the male acting prize for his role as a tortured filmmaker in Pedro Almodovar’s loosely biographical Pain And Glory, one of the films that had been tipped for the top honour.

Antonio Banderas wins Best Actor award for Pain and Glory. Photo: Getty

Britain’s Emily Beecham was crowned best actress after starring in Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe as a botanist who starts having doubts about her latest genetically-modified creation when it begins to affect her loved ones.