Utah film critics name South Korean thriller ‘Parasite’ the year’s best movie

The South Korean thriller “Parasite,” a twisty mystery about a poor family working its way into a rich household, was named the best movie of 2019 by the Utah Film Critics Association.

At the group’s annual meeting Sunday at Megaplex Jordan Commons in Sandy, 16 critics also picked Bong Joon Ho’s Palme D’Or winner as the best non-English-language movie. They also called the script of “Parasite," by Bong and Jin Won Han, the best original screenplay.

Sam Mendes was named best director for his World War I drama “1917,” which opens in major markets on Christmas Day and in Utah on Jan. 10. The movie, which plays out in real time in what appears to be a single take, was also honored for Roger Deakins’ cinematography.

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson each received lead performance honors for Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” playing a couple going through the pain of a divorce. The movie is showing in theaters and streaming on Netflix.

The adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” won two awards, for Florence Pugh’s supporting female performance as the youngest sister, Amy, and for director Greta Gerwig’s screenplay adaptation. The movie opens nationwide on Christmas Day.

Another multiple award winner was the documentary “Apollo 11,” a depiction of the first manned moon landing. The movie won the prize for documentary feature, as well as awards for Todd Douglas Miller’s film editing and Matt Morton’s original score.

A new prize this year was the Vice/Martin Award, named for two former UFCA members: Deseret News movie critic Jeff Vice, who died in 2014, and SLUG Magazine’s Jimmy Martin, who died in June. The award went to Robert Downey Jr. for his role as Tony Stark in “Avengers: Endgame.” The runner-up was Lupita Nyong’o for her double role in the horror-thriller “Us.” (Nyong’o was also runner-up to Johansson for the lead female performance award.)

The award for male supporting performance went to Joe Pesci, who came out of retirement to play a mob boss in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

The French-made thriller “I Lost My Body,” about a disembodied hand trying to reunite with its owner, was voted the best animated feature of the year.


Here is the full list of winners and runners-up:

Picture • “Parasite”; runner-up: “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”

Director • Sam Mendes, “1917”; runner-up: Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”

Lead Performance, Male • Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”; runner-up: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker.”

Lead Performance, Female • Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”; runner-up: Lupita Nyong’o, “Us.”

Supporting Performance, Male • Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”; runner-up: Willem Dafoe, “The Lighthouse.”

Supporting Performance, Female • Florence Pugh, “Little Women”; runner-up: Rebecca Ferguson, “Doctor Sleep.”

Vice/Martin Award (for performance in a science fiction, fantasy or horror film): Robert Downey Jr., “Avengers: Endgame”; runner-up: Lupita Nyong’o, “Us.”

Original Screenplay • Bong Joon Ho and Jin Won Han, “Parasite”; runner-up: Rian Johnson, “Knives Out.”

Adapted Screenplay • Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”; runner-up: Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit.”

Cinematography • Roger Deakins, “1917”; runner-up: Jarin Blaschke, “The Lighthouse.”

Original Score • Matt Morton, “Apollo 11”; runner-up: Dan Levy, “I Lost My Body.”

Film Editing • Todd Douglas Miller, “Apollo 11”; runner-up: Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt, “Ford v. Ferrari.”

Documentary Feature • “Apollo 11”; runner-up: “Hail Satan?”

Non-English Language Film • “Parasite”; runner-up: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”

Animated Feature • “I Lost My Body”; runner-up: (tie) “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and “Toy Story 4.”