Awards Season concludes with a huge bang! Bong Joon Ho‘s PARASITE becomes the first non-English Film ever to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Above this, it also becomes the first Korean Film ever to win Best International Feature Film, the inaugural edition of the Award which has been re-branded from Best Foreign Language Film with The Academy‘s focus on inclusion. Parasite also scored for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, tallying-in at four wins. Bong joked with the audience “I’m ready to drink tonight till tomorrow morning”, also thanking his idol and fellow nominee Martin Scorsese, whose Films he studied.
Parasite’s scores come as a mild surprise as 1917 which had gained a lot of momentum since its Holiday release, was seen as the favourite to win Best Picture.
Continuing with a pattern seen much of this Awards Season, the acting categories were taken by Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor for Joker), Renée Zellweger (Best Actress for Judy), Brad Pitt (Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) and Laura Dern (Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story).
Phoenix drew much reaction with an impassioned speech touching upon concern for the environment and animal consumption, while stressing the importance of humanity and giving people “second chances”, just as he had been given after having made regrettable decisions in the past.
Fashion as always was front and center on the Red Carpet, with black and/or muted pink very commonly seen on stars like Gal Gadot, Margot Robbie, Penélope Cruz, Charlize Theron and Laura Dern. Natalie Portman made a statement wearing an outfit which listed the names of female Filmmakers who didn’t get recognized at the Oscars this year.
While there was no host for the Oscars this year, various Presenters took to the stage at points throughout the night including Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Brie Larson, Sigourney Weaver, Gal Gadot and more.
Many of you by now have seen Bong Joon Ho‘s masterpiece PARASITE and I’m sure like me, you’ve been programmed to salivate at the words “RAM-DON“. The Korean dish (also known as “Jjapaguri“) made of a combination of instant noodles, topped with Sirloin Beef is a metaphor about class in the Film. In one scene we see Park Yeon-kyo (played by Yeo-jeong Jo) rushing to return home early, calling her maid Kim Chung-sook, played by Hye-jin Jang, and tasking her with very little time to make her son’s favourite meal, Ram-Don. Feeling her son is above eating just instant noodles like the rest of the common people, the addition of Sirloin to the ramen adds that element of sophistication worthy of the young boy’s palate. Kim Chung-sook of course has no idea what Ram-Don is and we see her in a massive panic to make it in time for their return home and never before did we realize how much we needed this dish in our lives!
We’ve seen various takes on its Recipe online, but we’ll break it down real simple for you in 10 steps:
1. Marinate a pound, or a little more of Beef Sirloin which has been chopped into cubes. Toss the beef in a mixture of 1-2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce, 1 tablespoon of Gochujang (Korean Pepper Paste), 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup, 1 tablespoon of Rice Vinegar, 1-2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Chill overnight, covered.
2. Chop 1/4 to 1/2 an onion, sautée in 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet on high heat. Toss-in half of marinated beef cubes and sear till browned. Be careful not to overcook. Place aside. Repeat process using other half of onion and beef cubes. Having too much beef in the pan hinders the searing process, hence it is best to do in two batches.
3. Prepare 1 package of Nongshim Spicy Seafood Noodles and 1 package of Nongshim Chapaghetti. If your grocer doesn’t have these brands then look for an alternative Spicy Seafood Ramen or Instant Jajangmyeon… or move to a more diverse neighbourhood.. or make some more Asian friends who can hook you up.
4. Boil about 5 cups of water and then place two portions of noodles in the pot.
5. Prepare seasoning packets.
6. Once noodles have loosened in the water, pour enough water out into sink to leave just enough water to barely cover the noodles in the pot. Then add in seasoning packets (1/2 packet of the Spicy Seafood Soup Base, 1 full packet of the Chapaghetti sauce mix, 1 full packet of the Chapaghetti herbs) and save the oil packet that comes with the Chapaghetti. Be careful not to scald yourself, I don’t want no lawsuits.
7. Cook on medium heat until the liquid thickens, stirring the noodles in the pot.
8. After two to three minutes, your noodles should be covered in a thick sauce, which looks like below.
9. Toss in the seared beef cubes and onion, plus the contents of the oil packet which you set aside earlier, into the noodle mixture on low heat for about a minute or two at most. Allow the juices from the steak to mix fully into the noodles.
10. Transfer to plate and serve with a side of Kimchi. This serves literally two adults.
We weren’t planning to visit New York City for a bit but temptation got to us. We really should be resting after a draining TIFF and what seemed like an endless series of weddings. Rest can always wait as NYC was the place to be this weekend with New York Comic Con, Paley Fest, New York Film Fest, Taylor Swift on Saturday Night Live and more going on in tandem. We don’t know how New Yorkers even function with all that excitement going on!
We came with no real agenda but came out exceedingly-pleased about our weekend! It was beyond amazing. We keep doting on it, but 2019 will go down as our best year yet.
Wait till you see our sightings!
We, like the rest of Toronto, cannot wait for the arrival of EATALY, an upscale Italian grocer/eatery and all-around Foodie Heaven. New Yorkers are blessed with two locations and it was a joy having our morning coffee and pastries there.
This was our first visit ever to New York Comic Con, held at Jacob Javits Center, which was endless energy… it was amazing seeing how precise some of the Cosplay was! We are overjoyed finally to meet Marvel Cinematic Universe stars and acting veterans, Paul Rudd and Benedict Wong! They were beyond nice and we love seeing Rudd back with his signature hair again.
This year marks the 57th edition of the New York Film Festival and while many of the films screening there had done the rounds at TIFF ’19, it was so cool see New Yorkers get excited about them too. Films like Marriage Story and Parasite came out with raves just like in Toronto and they were lucky to see some Cast we didn’t get to see last month. Our highlight was getting to see ScarJo and having her throw you guys a wave! 👋 So cool Greta Gerwig came too to support Baumbach! We have a feeling this power couple will have competing Oscar contenders this Award season, she with Little Women. Just a reminder, these embedded albums can be scrolled-through by hovering right them and tapping on the arrow.
It isn’t a New York visit without Saturday Night Live and this weekend’s taping was extra special with a star-studded list of guests seeing Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge host with musical guest, Taylor Swift! You won’t believe who came out to watch!
We couldn’t resist a visit to scenic Belmont Park! We are so happy to have found a gap in our day to see their star-studded card of racing including the Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Champagne Stakes too!
TIFF x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Toronto a chance to win Run-of-Engagement Passes to see TIFF ’19 selection, PARASITE at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Synopsis: Ki-taek‘s family of four is close, but fully unemployed, with a bleak future ahead of them. The son Ki-woo is recommended by his friend, a student at a prestigious university, for a well-paid tutoring job, spawning hopes of a regular income. Carrying the expectations of all his family, Ki-woo heads to the Park family home for an interview. Arriving at the house of Mr. Park, the owner of a global IT firm, Ki-woo meets Yeon-kyo, the beautiful young lady of the house. But following this first meeting between the two families, an unstoppable string of mishaps lies in wait.
I walked into Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or winning Parasite almost completely blind. The story of two families and the struggles between their classes is best experienced with little to no knowledge of the plot and its surprises, so I will not ruin that mindset for the small few who have no idea what’s in store for them.
What I will say is that Parasite is easily one of the best, if not the singular best, films of the year. Hyperbolic praise happens at Festivals all the time, but this one is the real deal that surpasses the buzz. It tells an incredibly-nuanced and layered story, and is filled with terrific performances from the entire Cast. There is not one weak link among them. It is ravishing in its beauty and details, saying so much about the characters with each passing frame. The way it captures class politics so subtly is simply magnificent. And while it can get particularly bloody in some instances, Parasite is surprisingly-funny even at its most bleak. The moment the credits rolled, I felt my bones shake and knew I had experienced something truly unique and special. Do what you need to, and do not let this one pass you by.
PARASITE screens during TIFF at the following times:
Friday September 6, 8:30pm @ Ryerson Theatre
Saturday September 7, 1:30pm @ Scotiabank Theatre