Director Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" became the first South Korean film to win the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival last May, and it seems likely to be in the running when Academy Award nominations are announced early next year. In this podcast episode, Marie and Mike join that critical chorus of praise. As in such earlier credits as his monster movie "The Host," this director likes to play with genre expectations. Here the story initially seems like it's just going to be a class-conscious comedy in which the basement apartment-dwelling members of a poor family go to work as domestic servants in the sleekly modernist home occupied by a rich family. There are some jolting plot twists, however, which Marie and Mike are careful not to spoil. Their harmonious discussion quickly unravels as Marie and Mike discuss a second film, "Last Christmas," which Marie liked a lot and Mike, well, let's just say Mike did not like it a lot. In this holiday-themed British comedy, Emilia Clarke portrays a young woman who has had her share of misfortune. As if it weren't bad enough that she has an ego-deflating job as an elf in a Christmas decoration shop run by a seemingly mean boss (Michelle Yeoh), she also has a mother (Emma Thompson) who never runs out of reprimands and advice. A nice guy (Henry Golding) appears and maybe a gift-wrapped romance is in store for our elf-outfitted protagonist. When Mike responds like the Grinch to the sugar-coated life lessons imparted here, Marie tells him to lighten up and enjoy all of the George Michael hits on the soundtrack.
December 6, 2019