Youn Yuh-jung wins her 20th best supporting actress title for ‘Minari’

January 27, 2021

Youn Yuh-jung, a South Korean supporting actress in the immigration drama “Minari,” continued her winning streak in the ongoing U.S. award season in the run-up to the Academy Awards.

In the list of 2021 award winners by the National Board of Review (NBR) released on Wednesday (U.S. time), Youn was named best supporting actress for her performance in the American film written and directed by Korean American Lee Isaac Chung.

She portrayed a full-mouthed grandmother who comes to the United States to babysit her grandson in the movie that depicts first-generation immigrants from South Korea in pursuit of their own American dream.

This image provided by A24 shows a scene from "Minari." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This image provided by A24 shows a scene from "Minari." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image provided by A24 shows a scene from “Minari.” (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The NBR title is the 20th trophy that Youn has received throughout the season, with the others including one from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

With multiple victories, the Korean actress is considered the front-runner in the Oscar race over Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and Amanda Seyfried for “Mank.”

If Youn is nominated for the 93rd Academy Awards in April, she will be the first South Korean actress or actor to get a nod for acting from the world’s most coveted film award. The full list of Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15.

At the same time, “Minari” was awarded NPR’s best original screenplay for writer-director Chung, who created the story based on his childhood memories in Arkansas.

As a potential contender for the Oscars’ best picture, the film has been a hit on the U.S. festival circuit starting with its jury and audience prizes at last year’s Sundance festival. It has bagged nearly 60 prizes from film critics circles and festivals, including the North Carolina Film Critics and the Florida Film Critics Circle.

Recently, the American Film Institute named “Minari” one of the 10 movies of the year. The film was also nominated in five categories, including best picture and best supporting actor, at the Film Independent Spirit Awards slated for April.