“Parasite” shocked the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday by landing the night’s top prize, a historic win which thrusts the South Korean black comedy into Oscars contention.
The critical smash hit film overcame the language barrier to win an outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, the SAG equivalent of a best film Academy Award.
“I’m a little embarrassed feeling like we’re the parasites of Hollywood now,” joked actor Lee Sun-Kyun.
Director Bong Joon-Ho admitted that “it is true that the momentum is building” for the Oscars.
The film, which merges comedy, drama and horror genres, follows a poor family as it infiltrates a wealthier household, and tackles the widening class gulf.
“Although the title is ‘Parasite,’ I think the film is about coexistence and how we can all live together,” said star Song Kang-ho, collecting the award.
The much-hyped movie had missed out on main prizes at the Golden Globes and Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards.
But Sunday’s win underlines the breakout movie’s extraordinary popularity in Hollywood.
It beat “Bombshell”, “The Irishman”, “Jojo Rabbit” and “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” at the star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.
In contrast to the stunning victory for “Parasite”, the four Oscars acting favorites all cemented their frontrunner statuses by piling on further trophies.
Joaquin Phoenix won best actor for “Joker”, a dark origin story of the Batman villain, adding to his Golden Globe win.
He said he was “standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor Heath Ledger,” who posthumously won an Oscar playing the same character in 2008’s “The Dark Knight”.
Renee Zellweger compounded her relentless awards sweep playing Judy Garland in “Judy”, which recounts the showbiz legend’s difficult final days.
Zellweger praised her “extraordinary sisters” in the acting community — in a year during which controversy over Hollywood’s female representation has raged.