No matter what you thought of the COVID Oscars, there’s no denying that there were some pretty great acceptance speeches, from Daniel Kaluuya’s rollercoaster of a thank you to Thomas Vinterberg’s heartbreaking tribute to his late daughter. But taking the crown for most charming speech of the night is Youn Yuh-jung, who won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Minari. Here are the best parts of her speech, ranked.
(This particular line technically came after the speech but is still charming enough to qualify for the list. )
11. Roasting typical awards season speeches
At the beginning of her speech, Youn thanked the members of the Academy, before qualifying her words.
That’s the speech they usually say.
10. Being both poised and flustered at the same time
She still seemed perfectly composed as she said:
Let me pull myself together.
9. Paying tribute to her Minari family
One of the great joys of Minari’s Oscars campaign has been watching Alan S. Kim give increasingly adorable interviews and Steven Yeun feature in increasingly fire photoshoots, and Youn thanked her movie family by describing the way they’d truly become a family while working on the film. As for director Lee Isaac Chung:
Without him, I couldn’t be here tonight. He was our captain and my director.
8. Shining a light on the influential Korean director who gave her her start
At the end of her speech, Youn dedicated her award to Kim Ki-young, who directed her on her very first movie, Woman of Fire, referring to him as a genius.
I think he would be very happy if he was still alive. Thank you very much.
7. Undermining the whole premise of her win
If you think the Oscars’ premise—that there are “bests” in art, and that you compare the vastly different performances demanded by vastly different movies against each other—is at least a little absurd, well, Youn agrees.
I don’t believe in competition. How can I win over Glenn Close? I’ve been watching her, so many performances. All the five nominees, we were the winner for the different movie, we play the different role. So we cannot compete with each other.
6. Saying her win was just luck
Youn’s modesty continued.
Tonight, I have just a little bit luck, I think. I’m luckier than you.
5. Telling her adult sons that “mommy worked so hard”
Like most Oscar winners, Youn thanked her children, though in her typical fashion, she gave the usual thanks a little twist.
I’d like to thank to my two boys, who made me go out and work. This is the result, because mommy worked so hard.
4. Echoing Bong Joon-ho’s sentiment that the Oscars are somewhat “local”
During Parasite’s Oscar campaign last year, director Bong Joon-ho downplayed the significance of the Oscars by referring to them as “local,” i.e. not that big a deal in Korea. Youn’s speech hinted at the same thing:
And usually, when I’m living in the other part of the world, I just watch the television. It’s Oscar, an event on the television, just watching, like a television program for us.
3. Hitting on Brad Pitt
Let’s be honest, who among us wouldn’t shoot our shot with Brad Pitt? The first words that Youn said when she got onto the Oscars stage were:
Mr. Brad Pitt, finally.
2. Continuing to hit on Brad Pitt by negging him
She continued by asking the Minari producer where he had been when the movie was filming in Tulsa.
Nice to meet you. Where were you when we were filming? It’s an honor to meet you.
1. Roasting everyone who couldn’t be bothered to pronounce her name properly
Actually, my name is Yuh-jung Youn, and most European people call me ‘Yuh-yung,’ and some of them call me ‘Yoo-jung.’ But tonight, you are all forgiven.
A message from Slate culture editor Forrest Wickman: In my decade at Slate, I’ve worked on everything from investigating how wearing your backpack with two straps became cooler than wearing it with one strap to adapting The Great Gatsby as a video game to inventing a highly scientific systemic for determining whether new movies are too scary for you. The support of Slate Plus members has allowed us to continue to do the kind of ambitious, irreverent, and service-y cultural coverage you won’t find anywhere else. Thank you!
Support work like this for just $1
Slate is covering the stories that matter to you. Become a Slate Plus member to support our work. Your first month is only $1.