Ever since Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite became the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May, critics have been whispering (or shouting) about its potential to take home the Best Picture Oscar, as well.
Now that goal is within reach: This morning, the gripping thriller secured a Best Picture Oscar nomination—a first for a South Korean film. Though none of the individual actors were nominated for their performances, Bong Joon Ho made the list for Best Director, and the film is also in the running for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing.
If Parasite wins Best Picture this year, it won’t just be the first South Korean film to do so—it’ll be the first foreign film to ever walk away with the award. Many thought Roma had a good chance of achieving that honor last year, but the Netflix-distributed Mexican drama ultimately lost to Green Book.
According to Variety, Parasite has grossed $25.4 million at the U.S. box office and an overall $132.3 million worldwide, and HBO is currently developing it as a miniseries.
The film, which is almost entirely in Korean, has helped many viewers overcome a characteristically American aversion to subtitles, something that Bong Joon Ho didn’t fail to mention in his Golden Globes acceptance speech after winning the Best Foreign Film award.
“Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles,” he said via his translator, “You will be used to so many more amazing films.”
This year’s Academy Awards air on ABC on Sunday, February 9.