Youn Yuh-jung, a South Korean actress, has received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Minari at the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Youn plays Soon-ja, David’s “grandmother” in Minari, who visits the family on their Arkansas farm from Korea. She carries the “Minari” seeds that give the movie its name.
Youn beat out a competitive field that included Glenn Close (for Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), and Amanda Seyfried (Mank), but she was the clear favorite after winning the Screen Actors Guild and Bafta best supporting actress awards. Youn famously praised “really snobbish” British electors for her award at the latter ceremony.
The name of the movie is derived from the herb minari, which is a hardy plant that can grow almost anywhere. Set in 1980s Arkansas, Lee Isaac Chung’s Oscar-nominated semi-autobiographical film follows the Yi family’s struggle to cultivate their own land at a period in Reagan-era America when 30,000 Koreans immigrated to the United States each year.
The story starts with the Yi family’s relocation to a run-down piece of property in the middle of nowhere Arkansas. The only house on the property is a beige mobile home propped up on wheels and cement blocks, causing the family to nervously wiggle into a home without a stairwell. If the obstinate patriarch Jacob (Steven Yeun) is ecstatic at the prospect of pulling himself up by his bootstraps and making a living tending vegetable, his wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) is less enthusiastic. While the couple works at a chicken factory, where they physically sort chickens by sex, their twins, 7-year-old David (Alan S. Kim) and slightly older Anne (Noel Cho), are left without supervision and must follow their parents to their shifts.
Minari is nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Lee Isaac Chung), Best Actor (Steven Yeun), Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung), Best Original Screenplay (Chung), and Best Original Score. Both Steven Yeun is the first Asian actor to be nominated for Best Actor.
Here is Youn Yuh-Jung speech in Oscars, Her speech was very witty, funny and smart!