“Unexpected performance, and her comic chops seem to come naturally!”
“How adorable is the Korean woman winner giving props to Glenn Close?”
“She is so cool!”
“Her dress was perfection. Her whole look was so knowing.”
These are just four of the comments last night on our TV & Film Facebook Group about Yuh-Jung Youn, 73, as she gave her speech for winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. But there were many more. In fact, Youn’s win was the most animated our members got the whole night, which was overall rather dull.
Youn, who became the first Korean actor to take home an Oscar, won for her performance as a grandmother in the film, Minari, which was nominated for Best Picture. The New York Times film reviewer called Youn a sly scene-stealer but noted that is “also true of her character, who infuses her daughter’s home with mischief, folk wisdom, and mostly unspoken memories of war, poverty, and other hardship.”
Crushing on Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt, as last year’s winner of Best Supporting Actor, announced Youn’s award, which was a bonus thrill for her. “Mr. Brad Pitt, finally, nice to meet you!” she said from the podium. “Where were you when we were filming?” Later she got to put her arm through his to walk backstage. In the press room, a reporter asked what Brad Pitt smelled like. “I didn’t smell him. I’m not a dog!” she said, revealing the same impishness her character in Minari demonstrated.
Her speech was filled with more adorableness. “I’d like to thank my two boys who made me go out and work,” Youn said while holding her statuette. “This is the result because Mommy worked so hard.”
She also made a gracious shout out to Glenn Close, who was nominated for her role in Hillbilly Elegy and made Oscar history too, but the more unfortunate kind. With her eighth loss, Close ties Peter O’Toole’s record for the most acting nominations without a win. Dang, that’s a tough way to get in the record books, Glenn.
But Close may have won the night by surprising everyone with her knowledge of the song “Da Butt” and then getting up and actually performing the dance in the aisle. No wait. Maybe Frances McDormand doing a wolf howl at the podium after Nomadland won for Best Picture was the best moment, especially since on stage with her were two of the women who played themselves in the film. (BTW, the howl was a tribute to Michael Wolf Snyder, the film’s production sound mixer, who died in March.) So hard to decide, but for sure the older women provided the highlights of the evening.
More Than the Minari Grandmother
If, like many others, you Googled Yuh-Jung Youn’s name after the win, you found out this about her on the IMBD website: “Since her humble beginnings, she has taken on memorable roles in over eighty television series and close to thirty feature films and has won countless awards. Fluent in Korean and English, Yuh-Jung Youn is not only a force to be reckoned with on screen, but also considered a Style Icon in Korea.”
Style icon indeed. The quilted black dress with the huge pockets that she wore last night was elegant in its simplicity, but it is just one of the winning outfits in her repertoire. To get an idea of Youn’s style, check out this Korean site that tracks her looks.
NextTribers saw Youn as a kindred soul. “I so responded to her spirit,” wrote Marti Mattia on Facebook, “and seeing a woman of a certain age so comfortable in her skin.”