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.
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.
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.
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.
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.