Youn Yuh Jung made history last night at The 93rd Academy Awards by becoming the first Korean actress to win an acting award. While it may only be now that America is recognizing her talent with her role in Minari, she has been a legend in the Korean film industry for years. Most Korean actresses her age are known for playing stereotypical roles of loving motherly figures. Youn Yuh Jung, on the other hand, often portrays complex and provocative characters.
Here are seven of Youn Yuh Jung’s most popular movies that you need to watch:
1. Woman of Fire
The 1971 film Woman of Fire is the second installment of a trilogy directed by Kim Ki Young. Marking Youn Yuh Jung’s film debut, she stars as a femme fatale who becomes impregnated by the father of the family she works for as a housemaid. It is an adaptation of the 1960 The Housemaid.
2. A Good Lawyer’s Wife
This 2003 movie marks Youn Yuh Jung’s return to film after many years. Directed by Im Sang Soo‘s, A Good Lawyer’s Wife stars Youn Yuh Jung as the mother-in-law of a dysfunctional family.
Youn Yuh Jung stars as one of six actresses portraying themselves in this 2009 mockumentary-style drama by E J Yong. Made without a script, the movie is about how each actress, being a huge celebrity, clashes as they come together for a photo shoot.
4. The Housemaid
The Housemaid is a 2010 melodramatic erotic thriller is directed by Im Sang Soo and is one of the most most popular movies included in this list. It is also a remake of the 1960 film of the same name. The film focuses on a housemaid, Eun Yi, who finds herself in a catastrophic love triangle with the family she works for. Youn Yuh Jung acts as Byung Sik, the longtime housemaid of the family and new boss to Eun Yi.
5. Taste of Money
Released in 2012, Taste of Money is a controversial film also by Im Sang Soo. In this erotic thriller about a chaebol, Youn Yuh Jung stars as an heiress who seeks revenge after her husband’s betrayal. Im describes the film as “an extension of The Housemaid. You can say that it’s the story of the children of The Housemaid who’ve grown up.”
6. The Bacchus Lady
Directed and written by E J Yong, The Bacchus Lady was released in 2016. This bittersweet drama stars Youn Yuh Jung as a “Bacchus Lady,” an elderly sex worker who becomes involved in the death of past clients.
Chang‘s Canola was also released in 2016. In this heartwarming drama, Youn Yuh Jung stars as a haenyeo, women native to Jeju Island who dive to collect seafood, who reunites with her long-lost granddaughter after twelve years.