Neon Sets Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or Winner ‘Parasite’ for Oscar-Ready October Release

Fresh off the heels of a major victory at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Bong Joon-ho’s acclaimed dramatic thriller “Parasite” will open in select theaters October 11. Indie and foreign film distributor Neon picked up U.S. rights to the movie before Cannes but have now slated the film to debut in theaters in the height of Oscar season. The company says it will be releasing “Parasite” as a “prime awards season contender.” The movie will have a traditional arthouse platform release.

Neon’s official synopsis for the movie reads: “Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. But this new ecosystem is fragile, and soon enough greed and class prejudice threaten to upend the Kims’ newfound comfort.”

Bong Joon-ho made history at Cannes when “Parasite” was named the winner of the Palme d’Or, becoming the first Korean movie to take the festival’s top honor. South Korea is widely expected to choose “Parasite” as its official entry for the 2020 foreign language Oscar race. The country has never received a nomination in the category, which would give “Parasite” another historic honor if it receives a nom. Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning” was South Korea’s entry this year but it was not nominated. Many Oscar pundits considered the snub to be one of the Oscars’ biggest oversights in 2019.

As for “Parasite,” IndieWire named it one of the best films of Cannes and the thriller recently topped IndieWire’s Cannes critics poll, winning honors for Best Film and Best Screenplay. IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehrlich called the drama one of Bong Joon-ho’s best directorial efforts to date in his rave review out of Cannes.

“‘Parasite’ starts as an off-kilter class comedy of sorts before sinking into something wild, unclassifiable, and burning with impotent rage,” Ehrlich raved. “As heightened as ‘Okja,’ but as realistic as ‘Mother,’ Bong’s latest is a madcap excoriation of life under the pall of late capitalism, and it leaves us all a little richer at the end of it.”

“Parasite” marks the fifth collaboration between Neon CEO Tom Quinn and director Bong Joon-Ho. Quinn released Bong’s “Snowpiercer” under Radius-TWC, where it became one of the highest grossing multi-platform titles of all time. “Parasite” stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, and Park So-dam.

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