Screen Scene: Local film news

#BONGHIVE FTW: Park So-dam, left, and Choi Woo-sik star in Bong Joon-ho’s 'Parasite.' The South Korean social thriller was awarded Best Film of 2019 honors by the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Photo courtesy of Neon

The Southeastern Film Critics Association has named Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite the best film of 2019. Among the group’s members are Asheville writers Michelle Keenan (Xpress; Rapid River), Jill Boniske (, independent reviewers Marcianne Miller and Tony Kiss, Bruce Steele (Xpress; and this writer (Xpress;

Spots No. 2-10 on the best film list went to The Irishman; Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood; Marriage Story; 1917; Jojo Rabbit; Little Women; The Farewell; Uncut Gems; and Ford v Ferrari. Best actor went to Adam Driver for Marriage Story (runner-up: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker); best actress to Renee Zellweger for Judy (runner-up: Lupita Nyong’o, Us); best supporting actor to Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (runner-up: Joe Pesci, The Irishman) and best supporting actress to Laura Dern for Marriage Story (runner-up: Florence Pugh, Little Women).

Bong and his Parasite co-writer Jin Won Han earned best original screenplay (runner-up: Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story), the film took home best foreign language film (runner-up: Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory) and Bong finished second to Martin Scorsese’s work on The Irishman in the best director category. Scorsese’s film also won adapted screenplay honors for Steven Zaillian (runner-up: Greta Gerwig, Little Women) and placed behind only Knives Out in the best ensemble field.

Elsewhere, the legendary Roger Deakins was awarded the best cinematography prize for 1917 (runner-up: Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood), Apollo 11 was named best documentary (runner-up: American Factory) and Toy Story 4 fended off Netflix’s acclaimed I Lost My Body for best animated film.

SEFCA’s Wyatt Award — named in memory of charter member Gene Wyatt and given annually to the film that best captures the spirit of the South — went to The Peanut Butter Falcon. The Huckleberry Finn-like adventure/comedy is co-written/co-directed by North Carolina native Tyler Nilson, set on the Outer Banks (and filmed in the Savannah, Ga., area) and features numerous characters and situations indicative of coastal Carolina life. Runner-up went to Just Mercy, Destin Daniel Cretton’s emotionally rich dramatization of civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson’s efforts to free death row prisoners in Alabama.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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