THERE probably aren’t too many South Korean movies on your bucket list, but one you will find it hard to avoid these days is the Oscar nominated, 'Parasite'.
Up for awards in not only the best foreign language category, but also for best film, this Bong Joon Ho directed piece is already scooping up multiple prizes at every turn.
It tells the clever story of the wealthy Park family and the struggling Kim household, who somehow end up becoming interwoven when young Ki-woo Kim gets a job as an English home tutor to the Park’s young daughter. Once inside the affluent premises, Ki-woo plots ways to get the rest of his family employed by the Parks, a plan that appears to be working until we find out there is another family doing the same thing. Ultimately, 'Parasite' is a story about class, and it’s a gripping watch as the truth is exposed and everything falls apart at the seams. We award it a review score of four fabulous stars.
'A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood' is, by contrast, a very American film. So much so that many presumed it would fail to impress this side of the Atlantic, due to its focus on US kids' TV host, Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks).
It would be like someone making an Irish film about a 'Bosco' presenter and expecting foreign audiences to get it. Luckily the creators centre the story around irritable journalist Lloyd Vogel, who is sent to interview Rogers, and it is as much his story as anything else.
The result is a compelling contrast of two men, one deeply troubled, the other very much at peace, in a beautifully observed offering that ticks every cinematic box. If you like feel-good films, they don’t get any better than this.
Finally, 'The Rhythm Section' is a run-of-the-mill action thriller starring Blake Lively as a woman who discovers her family were murdered and sets out for revenge. Filmed partly in Ireland, there isn’t much new on offer here, but if you prefer kick-ass to feel-good or thought-provoking, you might just squeeze some enjoyment from this.