Hulu Gets Streaming Rights to Oscar Winner ‘Parasite’

President Trump may not think much of South Korean Oscar-winning movie Parasite, but Disney-owned Hulu does.

The surprise Best Picture winner — the first for a foreign-language film — will be exclusively available to stream in the United States on Hulu beginning April 8. The deal was struck between the SVOD service with 28 million subscribers and the film’s distributor Neon.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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This isn’t the first deal between the two companies. Hulu also landed streaming rights in 2017 Neon’s Oscar winner I, Tonya, Three Identical Strangers, The Beach Bum and Honeyland.

Parasite, a dark comedic look at class struggles, gave the film’s director Bong Joon-ho four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best International Feature and Best Director).

The film has generated more than $210 million at the box office and is South Korea’s best-ever theatrical performer in ticket sales.

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Parasite was released into physical retail channels on Jan. 28 (Jan. 14 on digital) by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. It has been a top digital rental at Redbox throughout February.

‘Parasite’ Surges to Four Oscar Wins

The South Korean film Parasite was a surprise winner at the 92nd Academy Awards Feb. 9, taking four Oscars, including Best Picture, the first non-English film to win the top prize.

The dark satirical look at class struggles in South Korea also was the surprising winner of Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, who also won for Best Original Screenplay. As expected, the film won for Best International Film.

Bong Joon Ho was widely touted in the media for tying Walt Disney’s 1953 record of winning four Oscars in one night, though officially he goes in the books with three, as International Film is awarded to a country (South Korea in this case) and not an individual, although Bong accepted the trophy on behalf of the film.

The film is available now through digital retailers, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

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The favorite before the night, Universal’s World War I film 1917, won three Oscars, including Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing.

Warner’s Joker, readily available on disc and digital, won Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt and Best Production Design. The film is available for home viewing from Sony Pictures.

Ford v Ferrari, which arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD on Tuesday, Feb. 11, also won two awards, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing.

Rocketman, available now for home viewing from Paramount, won Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Best Actress went to Renée Zellweger for playing Judy Garland in Judy, which is available now on home video from Lionsgate.

Toy Story 4, available for home video viewing from Disney, won Best Animated Feature.

Bombshell won for Makeup and Hair Styling. The film will arrive digitally Feb. 25, and on Blu-ray and DVD March 10.

Jojo Rabbit, available now digitally, and on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 18, won Best Adapted Screenplay for Taika Waititi.

Columbia’s Little Women won Best Costume Design.

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Two Netflix movies ended up winning one Oscar apiece. Marriage Story won Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern, and American Factory, from the Obamas’ production company, won Best Documentary.

Netflix’s lauded The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, had earned 10 nominations but walked away empty-handed.

Both Marriage Story and The Irishman are heading for Blu-ray and DVD later this year from the Criterion Collection.

 

Parasite

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Comedy;
Box Office $35.47 million;
$22.98 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language, some violence and sexual content.
In Korean with English subtitles.
Stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Chang Hyae-jin.

Writer-director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite became something of a media darling for its clever satire of economic class disparities.

The story follows the impoverished Kim family, barely earning a living doing odd jobs in a slum in South Korea. When the eldest son gets an opportunity to take on a tutoring job for the daughter of the wealthy Park family, he quickly devises a plan for the rest of his family to be hired for household positions, though without the Parks knowing they are all related.

In some cases, this involves forging documents to support false backstories, not to mention setting up the current servants into getting fired without raising a fuss.

The Kims begin enjoying their newfound income stream when the former housekeeper returns and introduces a new twist to the story that the Kims couldn’t have anticipated in their scheming. The sudden subversion of expectations brings a much darker tone to the film.

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The film is dazzlingly directed and visually enticing thanks to some excellent set designs, particularly the spacious Park household and the filthy basement apartment of the Kims. The details of each location become vitally important to the story and serve almost as secondary characters unto themselves.

A lot of the praise and awards heaped upon the film, however, seem to be a reaction to the economic motifs at the heart of the story, the effectiveness of which depend largely on the preconceptions of the viewer. The characters are largely defined by their social status, and the film does little to provide much context as to why they are in the position they are to begin with. This might otherwise be an issue when the film wants us to sympathize with a family of criminals simply because it expects us to feel sorry for them for not being rich.

The only genuine moments of character development don’t occur until after the plot contrivance of the third act is introduced, leading to a string of events that might not always ring true beyond the film’s superficial messaging.

The Blu-ray includes a 20-minute bonus Q&A with Bong who, speaking through a translator, discusses the crafting of the film and the subtexts of his story, though a lot of his motivations come across more as platitudes than a fundamental understanding of the issues he’s trying to explore.

The lessons presented by the film are rather obvious ones, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a bit more scrutiny.

 

Golden-Globe Winning ‘Parasite’ Due Digitally Jan. 14, on Disc Jan. 28

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the South Korean black comedy Parasite through digital retailers Jan. 14, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Jan. 28.

Parasite tells the story of a poor Korean family who manipulate a wealthier family into hiring them into indispensable jobs, and then must protect their newfound position from an interloper.

The film earned $23.9 million at the domestic box office and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film. It was directed by Bong Joon-ho, who previously directed The Host and Snowpiercer.

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The Blu-ray and DVD will include a Q&A with director Bong Joon-ho.

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