Upon winning his second Oscar of the night for best International Feature Film, Bong Joon-ho chose his words carefully. “I’m ready to drink tonight!” he exclaimed. The crowd whooped and erupted into applause. Bong Jo was thrilled, and they were thrilled for him.
And it’s hard not to be. The entire evening, the Parasite director was a human sunbeam, releasing rays of unmitigated joy when he got up on stage. When the film won its first award, for best original screenplay, the director broke into a giggle as he gazed upon his little gold man, which was the first Oscar ever for South Korea. C’mon—just look at the gif below! How can you not smile!
It was his Best Director win, however, that brought the crowd to their feet halfway through his speech. He opened it up with some self-deprecating humor— “I thought I was done for the day!” he said through his translator. The rest was a love letter to his fellow nominated directors, delivered with the utmost sincerity. He started with Martin Scorsese, who, via translator, he described studying in school. Bong interjected with an impromptu remark of his own: “Our great Martin Scorsese!” he shouted. The crowd stood up to cheer, and Scorsese, visibly emotional, gave the him a thumbs up.
He thanked Quentin Tarantino too, relaying through his translator that the Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood director always supported his films, even when he was a little-known entity to the American audience. Bong summed up his feelings in English as this: “Quentin I love you!”
Although the crowd is always, well, positive, when someone wins in Oscar, even from the telecast, it was clear the room was going crazy. “I will drink until next morning, thank you!” Bong said as he walked off stage.
Which, good—because a lot of people will want to raise a glass to him tonight. Soon after, Parasite took home the biggest prize of them all: Best Picture. They made history as the first non-English speaking film to do so. Many, many people will want to raise a glass to Bong tonight.