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Impact of Oscar firsts including Youn Yuh-jung's win
  • April 29, 2021

Impact of Oscar firsts including Youn Yuh-jung's win

Updated: 2021-04-27 17:06:37 KST


This year's Oscars were full of firsts.
Chloe Zhao made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win best director for her film "Nomadland", and just the second female director ever to win the award.
Steven Yeun was the first Asian American actor to earn a nomination for the top acting prize.
And Youn Yuh-jung clinched the best supporting actress award for the first time for a Korean actress. She is the first Asian actress to win that award since the 1950s.
The cast of "Minari" receiving global recognition has much significance given that even though director Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" won big last year, none of the film's cast got the nod.
Critics say Youn's win especially could serve as a stepping stone to offer broader opportunities for Asian actors and lead to more appreciation in the future.

"It would tell Hollywood and other people that you can hire Korean and Asian actors, have them in a movie that will resonate with people all over the world."

"An Asian, Japanese actress received the award in 1958 with film "Sayonara" but most of the times she smiled and showed how hard she tried to learn English, which some could say is quite a limited, orientalist view. But Youn, she just showed herself in "Minari". She didn't think about how she would be seen to others but was just herself."

Youn also shattered the prejudice that an actress's career is very much related to their age by winning her award at the age of 73.

"Dubbed the Meryl Streep of Korea, she demonstrated that if actresses have enough ability, there will always be roles for them. There will be a big change in the film industry and the way it has been using actresses."

Known for challenging herself with unique interpretations of any role she is assigned, as shown in the low-budget independent film "The Bacchus Lady", critics say that her life could be a textbook for actors who want to pursue their own identity in acting.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.