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'Minari' and other contenders for Academy Awards' Best Picture Updated: 2021-04-23 13:45:08 KST

The 93rd Academy Awards are now just around the corner, with the winners slated to be announced on April 26th, Korea time.
For today's Life with Culture our arts and culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung introduces some of the films that are competing against "Minari," including those that are up for Best Picture.
Bo-kyoung do tell us more.

Hi Jiyeon, following from last year's success for Bong Joon-ho’s "Parasite", South Koreans' expectations are high for this year's Oscars too as Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung's movie "Minari" has been nominated for six categories including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress.
But Minari is not the only film catching viewers' attention. For those curious about who could win the top prize, I met some film critics to get their opinions. Let's take a look.

A total of eight films have been nominated for this year Oscars' Best Picture category: "The Father", "Judas and the Black Messiah", "Mank", "Minari", "Nomadland", "Promising Young woman", "Sound of Metal" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7".
While all are worth taking a look at, critics say Chinese director Chloe Zhao's "Nomadland" is the front-runner.

"I feel like the race is pretty close and down to maybe "Minari" and "Nomadland". I think with "Nomadland", there's a lot of hype around the director Chloe Zhao, people are really responding to the stark realism she portrayed in the movie"

The film features the lives of people who live as nomads after losing everything during the Great Recession.
Even though it was made with a small budget, the film won the Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Fest among others.
Another favorite is "The Trial of the Chicago 7".

"The other top contender I would say is "The Trial of the Chicago 7" which, given that political situation the United States is very relevant, it's distributed by Netflix - you know that means they have a lot of powerful marketing, it has a big cast with famous actors, so I feel like that one could potentially be a spoiler."

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, "The Trial of the Chicago 7" is a historical courtroom drama based on the true story of a group of men accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the legal conflicts that followed.
And of course, "Minari" is also believed to be a strong contender for the way it conveys its message.

"This year, lots of films that directly talk about the situation in the U.S. and deliver strong messages have been nominated. "Minari" has its own merits in that it delivers the theme in a very emotional and touching way."

In particular, the performance of veteran South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung was enough to earn her a BAFTA for best supporting actress.
This year's Oscar's ceremony will take place on April 25th at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time.

And, we're also learning today that the 73-year-old South Korean powerhouse picked up yet another award for her role in "Minari" at the 36th Independent Spirit Awards.
The Spirits, usually held in a giant tent on the Southern California coast, have sometimes been a laid-back dress rehearsal for the Academy Awards.
This year, the ceremony was turned into a virtual, mostly pre-taped event due to the pandemic.

I am looking forward to hearing the results. Now, the whole cast of "Minari" have received praise for their roles, but one standout performance came from Youn Yuh-jung. She's had a long and distinguished career. What other films of hers would you recommend?

Well, there are several films that show her different aspects as an actress.
Critics first recommend her debut film which was made when she was in her early twenties "Woman of Fire" released in 1971 directed by Kim Ki-young, and the film that came a year after the "Insect Woman".
For those who are looking for Youn's recent movies, Im Sang-soo's melodramatic erotic thriller film "The Housemaid" is another good choice where she plays an older housekeeper.
Youn hasn't been hesitant in selecting totally new and different acts.
In the low-budget independent film "The Bacchus Lady," Youn showed the life of an elderly prostitute, and in "The Taste of Money" she took on the role of a cruel and rich heiress.

Those looking forward to seeing more of Youn's acting should certainly add those films to their list. Well, thank you Bo-kyoung for sharing insight and information.

Thank you.
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