South Korea cheers veteran actor Youn Yuh-jung’s Oscar win

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Wonsuk Chin distinctly remembers sitting in a theater in South Korea as a cinema-loving teenager, blown away by Yuh-Jung Youn’s efficiency within the 1985 revenge movie “Mom.”

Greater than 35 years later, as Youn was named finest supporting actress at this 12 months’s Academy Awards for her function within the immigrant household story “Minari,” marking the first-ever Oscar win by a South Korean actor, Chin sat with tears in his eyes watching the printed stay at his residence in Seoul.

“She’s a trailblazer in so some ways,” stated Chin, a filmmaker who has labored in each South Korea and the U.S. “This actor who’s been making Korean motion pictures and dramas for 50 years can develop into beloved by the world.”

In her acceptance speech Sunday evening, Youn stated that the varied Europeans and People who had been mispronouncing or misremembering her identify throughout the award season have been forgiven. In her native South Korea, nobody has that drawback: She’s been a family identify and a well-recognized presence on screens large and small for greater than half a century.

Right here, the award merely marked the remainder of the world catching as much as the expertise and wit that native audiences have liked about Youn for throughout the a long time.

In a scene from "Minari," David (played by Alan Kim) and Soonja (played by Yuh-Jung Youn) talk in the living room.

David (Alan Kim) doesn’t perceive why his foul-mouthed, card-playing Soonja (Yuh-Jung Youn) doesn’t act like a “actual grandma” in “Minari.”


Her win was celebrated particularly as a triumph for ladies who don’t readily match right into a social mildew, given the wide-ranging and infrequently dangerous roles Youn has essayed since she started appearing in 1966. South Korean moms and grandmothers who’d beforehand paid little consideration to the Oscars tuned in to observe the ceremony stay regardless of its mid-morning Monday broadcast time right here.

“The Academy Awards aren’t every little thing,” Youn stated at a information convention with South Korean media on the consul normal’s residence in Los Angeles following the ceremony. “The academy’s wall was so excessive, it was increased than Trump’s wall. It was too excessive a wall for Asians.”

For South Korea’s strong movie trade, the appearing nod for Youn was one other feather within the cap after director Bong Joon Ho’s win for finest director and finest image final 12 months for “Parasite.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in added his congratulations, praising Youn for her “limitless ardour.”

“The film ‘Minari’ could be very vital. It informed one household’s immigration story as a common story of life, and confirmed that wherever we could stay, all of us are intimately linked,” Moon stated in an announcement. “Youn Yuh-jung’s appearing shined, bringing to life the photographs of our grandmothers, our moms.”

Like her character, Soonja, in Isaac Lee Chung’s semi-autobiographical drama, whose grandson complains she’s not the everyday cookie-baking grandma, Youn has pushed the boundaries of ladies’s roles each on display screen and off in South Korea over the a long time. Fictionally, she’s performed every little thing from a seductress maid to an growing old prostitute to a loyal grandmother with Alzheimer’s. In her private life, she’s been a working single mom since her divorce within the Nineteen Eighties, unapologetic about her life and her selections.

Frances McDormand and Yuh-Jung Youn stand together off stage after receiving their Oscars

Frances McDormand, left, winner of the lead actress Oscar for “Nomadland,” and Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of the award for supporting actress, for “Minari.”

(Chris Pizzello / Pool picture)

“As a result of it’s my first go at life, I can’t assist however remorse, can’t assist however harm, can’t plan every little thing,” she stated on a tv program, in a quote that went viral after her Oscar win. “You simply stay. The one factor you are able to do is to let issues go, quit. Don’t maintain on as you get older.”

Park Ga-eun, a school sophomore, skipped her Monday morning class to observe the awards ceremony on an enormous display screen at a movie show in Seoul.

“We have been all screaming and applauding,” Park, a music main and an aspiring movie composer, stated of the second Youn’s award was introduced. “It’s so significant, so admirable. It’s superb she’s nonetheless difficult herself at her age.”

Park stated Youn’s win made her dream of working within the film trade, even perhaps in Hollywood, really feel a step nearer and only a tad extra attainable.

“For younger girls, she’s giving us the drive not to surrender and hold attempting,” she stated.

Youn stated she had no expectations that she’d win — “I’ve lived a very long time and have been let down many occasions” — however nonetheless felt the mounting strain from all of the hopes that fellow South Koreans appeared to hold on her attainable win. She sympathized with the nation’s World Cup soccer group, she stated on the information convention with South Korean media.

In the long run, Youn stated she believed it was the center of the movie that linked with audiences and that allowed her to go residence Sunday clutching a golden statuette.

“We made this movie with our sincerity, and that sincerity acquired via,” she stated.

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