- South Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn makes history as the first Korean to win Best Supporting Actress
- She is the second Asian to win in that category, the first being Japanese actress Miyoshi Umeki who won in 1958 for her role in the movie Sayonara
- In the acceptance speech of the 73-year-old South Korean actress who won in the category for her role in the movie Minari, she said she did not expect to win
- In a true mark of humility, Youn attributed her historic win over Glenn Close to good luck, and perhaps even American hospitality for Koreans
Koreans have much to celebrate today with the historic win of South Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn as Best Supporting Actress in the 93rd Academy Awards, oftentimes referred to as the Oscars.
Youn’s big win gave Koreans a much-needed boost after the recent disappointing loss of the globally popular Bangtan Sonyeondan, better known as BTS, in the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards held last month.
During her acceptance speech, Youn said she does not believe she can compete against famous actresses like Glenn Close.
“I don’t believe in competition, how can I win over Glenn Close?” Youn said.
In a true Asian mark of humility, Youn attributed her big win to good luck.
“Tonight, I have just a little bit luck, I think, maybe. I’m luckier than you. And also maybe it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor. I’m not sure. But anyway, thank you so much,” the South Korean actress said.
Youn’s role as grandma Soonja in Minari is so pivotal that it would be impossible to imagine the entire movie without her.
The movie Minari tells the story of a Korean-American family who moved to a farm in Arkansas in the hopes of achieving their own American dream.
The challenges of the strange new life made them rediscover what is really important and their resilience as a Korean family.
Grandma Soonja became the bridge to the old and traditional ways with the new reality.
The movie Minari is being called by many as spellbinding and truly reflects reality. The story centers around a Korean-American family composed of Jacob (Steven Yeun) and Monica (Yeri Han), a Korean couple who moved to the United States in the 1980s and worked in California as chicken sexers, a job that involved grouping baby chicks based on their gender. After several years, the couple invites Jacob’s grandmother, Soonja (Yuh-Jung Youn), to be with them and help care for their American-born kids Anne (Noel Kate Cho) and David (Alan Kim). Together, they moved to Arkansas in the hopes of achieving their own American dream through a 50-acre farm located in Ozarks, a small town in Arkansas. The family went through a lot, with culture clash very obvious in almost every part of the film. It is a truly good movie and one that not only every immigrant family should watch, but also Americans who may have forgotten the old ways that their forebears have always taught them.
“Minari” came at the heels of another critically acclaimed Korean movie “Parasite,” which also made history when it won Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards. It was the first time that an Asian movie and a non-English speaking film won the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The South Korean movie won the award against “The Irishman,” “1917,” “Marriage Story,” “Little Women,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” “Parasite” also won awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature earlier on the show.
With Yuh-Jung Youn’s big win in the recent Oscars, she now joins the list of Asians who made their own mark at the Oscars, notable of which is that of Jackie Chan. The Hong Kong native, a known martial arts expert and actor, was awarded the prestigious Oscar lifetime achievement award four years ago. Some famous movies of Jackie Chan include “Rush Hour” and “Kung Fu Panda.” He’s ranked by Forbes as the second highest-paid actor of 2016 with estimated earnings of $61 million.
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