Actress Kim Hye-soo [10Asia]
Gender is not the only thing that sets the word 'actress' apart from 'actor.' The word 'actress' alone carries layers of meaning that could refer as one to be envied, a seemingly unreachable glory and perhaps a tragic personal story or two hidden within. Living as an actress in Korea means carrying both a light and darkness inside that are enough to invoke curiosity. And actress Kim Hye-soo fits this category perfectly, as if the term was coined for her alone. Her glamorous body and a confident attitude are some of the phrases we often use to describe Kim's aura. But above all, the prowess she accumulated through her acting career has helped to solidify her position as a true actress.
Kim’s filmography alone reveals the typical life of an actress since her debut as a teenage star, the trials and errors she had to go through in order to be reborn as a real actor. After working on films such as “First Love” (1993) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (1998), she started to get acknowledged for her acting alone in “Faceless Beauty” (2004) and “The Red Shoes” (2005) to the point she rid the distance between the role she played as shown in “The War Of Flower” (2006) and “Modern Body” (2008). With her latest film “Widow and Villain (2010),” Kim reached the pinnacle of her acting career, her collaboration with actor Han Suk-kyu “As Good As It Gets” showing what kind of synergy the two great actors can create together.
“The problem was in the details of the character. I decided not to include any of the ordinary details, forget that this is a comedy and concentrate only on being that character alone for every moment. But every time I caught on a new detail, I worried about whether I would be able to express it properly.” That was how the character Yeon-joo -- a widow of contrasting qualities who is both on guard and attracted to the suspicious renter living upstairs, always in need of sleeping pills or liquor to get to bed but tough enough to bellow against middle-aged guys next to her table -- was reborn as a woman who is pitiful but funny, and cute but with an aura of a painful past. Accordingly, the films that attracted Kim, who is in her 24th year of her acting career, are also the kinds that amplified what great actresses can offer. These are the films through which Kim said she met the movie of her youth and came to learn about the insanity and passion that stems from love.
1. Betty Blue (original title: 37.2 Le Matin)
1986 | Jean-Jacques Beineix
The passionate and twisted love displayed by Zorg (played by Jean-Hugues Anglade) and Betty (Beatrice Dalle) perfectly nailed down the anxiety felt by young people in France during the 80s. The only thing left for those with nothing but heavy debt and inferiority complex over the 1968 revolution since the rise of capitalism, was love. Director Jean-Jacques Beineix comforted viewers through Betty and a screen filled with blue fog.
2008 | Sam Mendes
Kate Winslet, who won the award for best female actress at the Golden Globe Awards portrays the raw disappointment of a person whose final hopes are crushed. If you feel your much too ordinary life is suffocating or you feel like you are just stuck in one place unable to either settle in or escape from, the film “Revolutionary Road” which brought out the best of all the participants in the film, is filled with people who can full-heartedly sympathize with that situation.
3. Blue Velvet
1986 | David Lynch
Story is not that important to David Lynch’s films. You cannot feel his world without watching his works. Rather than trying to understand and analyze, watching, feeling and becoming assimilated is what you should do, especially when it comes to his early films. “Blue Velvet,” just like his other works such as “Lost Highway” (1997) and “Mulholland Drive” (2001) does not try to help its viewers grasp a clear understanding of its story. The contrasting and violent desires the characters display in the most shocking and beautiful way is what presses heavily on viewers’ mind, leaving an impression that will last in minds for a long time.
4. La Vie En Rose (La Mome)
2007 | Olivier Dahan
There are people whose life in itself is a dramatic story and Edith Piaf, the most beloved singer in France, was one of them. The movie tells of the life of a woman born a street girl who rose to be the greatest singer in the country only to get struck by a tragedy that comes thereafter. A life that was anything but 'rosy.' Cotillard, who played Edith Piaf who never failed to appear on stage even during the most tragic moment of her life, was showered with academy awards as well as the prize for best actress in many other international film festivals.
5. The Hours
2002 | Stephen Daldry
Here are three Dalloway women. Virginia Woolf who is writing “Mrs. Dalloway,” a housewife in love with her story and an editor who is nicknamed “Mrs. Dalloway.” The three women who, going beyond time and space, connect with each other through “Mrs. Dalloway” are also amazing like each other in sense that they are all slowly getting eaten up by pains they have hidden away. The way they either overcome or get overwhelmed by their internal pain makes one to reflect on their own life as well.
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