Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk! It’s that time of year again, where we look back on the past 12 months and review the great movies that came out of Korean cinema. I’m honored to announce that tvN Movies has partnered up with EonTalk to present the K-Movie Awards of 2020. tvN Movies provides the latest Korean blockbusters in Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, and so I’m super excited to be able to collaborate with them on this year’s award show.
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To say 2020 has been a crazy year would be an understatement. There have been countless events that shook the world, and I’m sure many of you are looking forward to the end of the year and the start of a new one. I as well am hopeful for 2021, and I sincerely do hope the new year will bring about a safe world, and a lot more great Korean films. But before we look forward to 2021, let’s look back at the noteworthy Korean movies that came out in 2020.
A voting process took place from December 1st to the 15th on 12 different categories of Best Comedy, Best Action, Best Crime/Mystery, Best Thriller/Horror, Best Drama, Best Cast, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, and of course, Movie of the Year. More than 1,500 people partook in the polling, and that’s 3 times as much as last year’s voting! That just shows how much the EonTalk community has also grown the past year.
The 2020 K-Movie Awards will have two winners per category: “Eon’s Pick,” which literally is the movie or actor that I chose to represent the category, and the “Fan’s Pick,” which is the movie or actor the EonTalk community members chose through the voting process. Okay then, that being said, let’s get right into the reveal of the award winners!
The first category of the 2020 K-Movie Awards is “Best Comedy.” Nominated for the Best Comedy of 2020 were: <OK! Madam>, <Honest Candidate>, <Hitman: Agent Jun>, <Mr.Zoo: The Missing VIP>, and <Secret Zoo>.
My pick of Best Comedy of 2020 was… <OK! Madam>!
The fan’s pick of Best Comedy of 2020 was… Also <OK! Madam>!
Taking 26.7% of the votes for this category, <OK! Madam> was a comedy action film starring Uhm Jung-Hwa, Park Sung-Woong, Lee Sang-Yoon, Bae Jung-Nam, and Lee Sun-Bin. If you are a fan of light action comedies like last year’s Best Comedy, <Extreme Job>, then this is the movie for you.
The movie that I chose as the Best Action of this year was… <Deliver Us From Evil>!
<Deliver Us From Evil> had the return of the duo of Hwang Jung-Min and Lee Jung-Jae from one of my personal favorite K-movies, <New World>, as well as a superb performance by Park Jung-Min, and I thought this had the best action sequences of 2020.
What film did the fans’ pick as the Best Action? The fan’s pick was… <Peninsula>.
Receiving 43.2% of the votes, <Peninsula> had a cast lineup of Kang Dong-Won, Lee Jung-Hyun, Lee Re, Kwon Hae-Hyo, Kim Min-Jae, Koo Kyo-Hwan, Kim Do-Yoon, and Lee Ye-Won. This zombie blockbuster was the sequel to the 2016 hit <Train to Busan>, taking place 4 years after the prequel.
My pick for Best Crime/Mystery of 2020 was… <Beasts Clawing at Straws>.
Released in the first quarter of 2020, <Beasts Clawing at Straws> had an incredible cast lineup, and was an entertaining ride.
The fan’s pick of Best Crime/Mystery was… <Time to Hunt>.
Acquiring 30.5% of the total votes, <Time to Hunt> had an ensemble cast of Lee Je-Hoon, Ahn Jae-Hong, Choi Woo-Shik, Park Jung-Min, and Park Hae-Soo. Although this movie was originally supposed to release in early 2020, it was delayed several times before eventually having a global Netflix release. This approach of having a Netflix release instead of a theatrical one was something new we’ve seen this year with the whole pandemic taking place, and quite frankly, although we do lose out on the theater-going experience, it’s a good way for the global audience to watch K-movies simultaneously as they are released.
My pick of Best Thriller/Horror was… <The Call>.
As with <Time to Hunt>, <The Call> was also a film that originally had an early 2020 in-theater release, but was later released on Netflix instead. This movie has been receiving great response globally, and really showcased Jeon Jong-Seo as an excellent actress.
The fan’s pick of Best Thriller/Horror was… <Intruder>.
<Intruder> had the highest poll percentage of all the categories, receiving a whopping 46.2%! This thriller starred Song Ji-Hyo, Kim Mu-Yeol, Ye Soo-Jung, Choi Sang-Hoon, Park Min-Ha, and Heo Jun-Seok, amongst others, and I must say, the performances given by the leads Song Ji-Hyo and Kim Mu-Yeol were amazing.
Moving along, which movie won the category of “Best Drama?” Let’s first take a look at the nominations: <The Man Standing Next>, <Pawn>, <Innocence>, <Samjin Company English Class>, and <Good Neighbor>
Which film did I choose as the Best Drama of 2020? My pick was… <Pawn>.
This family film was not only funny and humorous, but also very heartwarming and emotional; Not to mention, the child actress Park So-Yi was absolutely adorable.
The fan’s pick? The fan’s selection of Best Drama was… <Innocence>.
Drawing in 36.4% of the votes, <Innocence> had the cast members Shin Hye-Sun, Bae Jong-Ok, Huh Jun-Ho, Hong Kyung, Tae Hang-Ho, Go Chang-Seok, and Park Chul-Min, amongst others. The film had great acting, a good story, and a satisfying buildup with a satisfying ending. It’s a film that I also very much enjoyed, and if you are a fan of crime-mystery dramas, I highly recommend giving this a go.
Okay, now moving onto the category of “Best Cast,” let’s look at the nominations of which films had the best cast members: <Beasts Clawing at Straws>, <Time to Hunt>, <Collectors>, <The Man Standing Next>, and <Deliver Us From Evil>.
Which film did I believe have the best cast? … <Time to Hunt>!
And the fan’s pick? …Also <Time to Hunt>!
<Time to Hunt> received 31.6% of the votes, and which amazing stars shined in this movie? The cast members included Lee Je-Hoon, Ahn Jae-Hong, Choi Woo-Shik, Park Jung-Min, and Park Hae-Soo. Without even watching the movie, just the cast lineup really intrigued me and attracted me to the film. This was by far one of the most highly anticipated films of 2020 for me, and the reason being because of the cast.
Next, the “Best Director.” Which directors were nominated for this category? Woo Min-Ho (The Man Standing Next), Jo Seul-Yeah (Diva), Yeon Sang-Ho (Peninsula), Hong Eui-Jung (Voice of Silence), and Hong Won-Chang (Deliver Us From Evil).
First, my pick. My pick for Best Director of 2020 was… Woo Min-Ho (The Man Standing Next)!
I absolutely loved this film, and must praise Woo Min-Ho for directing such a great movie. The man also directed the likes of <The Spies>, <Drug King>, and the amazing <Inside Men>.
The fan’s pick of Best Director of 2020 was… Yeon Sang-Ho (Peninsula)!
Receiving 37% of the votes, Yeon Sang-Ho also directed <Psychokinesis>, the animated film <Seoul Station>, and of course, the prequel to <Peninsula>, <Train to Busan>. Famous for also being an animation director, let’s look forward to his next production as well.
Best Supporting Actor
Going into the “Best Supporting Actor,” let’s take a look at which actors were nominated in this category: Seo Hyun-Woo (The Man Standing Next), Park Ji-Hwan (Beasts Clawing at Straws), Lee Kyu-Hyung (Diva), Hong Kyung (Innocence), and Lee Sang-Yeob (The Day I Died).
My pick of Best Supporting Actor was… Hong Kyung (Innocence)!
It was my first time seeing this actor, but he definitely left a mark in my books of up and coming actors. Hong Kyung played a character that suffers from mental illness, and he was able to perform this role in a very natural way that wasn’t overly exaggerated nor overwhelming.
Who did the fan’s choose as the Best Supporting Actor of 2020? The fan’s pick was… Lee Sang-Yeob (The Day I Died).
Mr.Lee, who received 45.4% of the votes, was also in the movies <The Villagers> and <The Flu>, and can be seen in a lot of K-dramas and variety shows as well nowadays.
Best Supporting Actress
And the next category is “Best Supporting Actress.” The nominations? Kim Sun-Young (The Day I Died), Lee Joo-Young (Samjin Company English Class), Yum Jung-Ah (Steel Rain: Summit), Ye Soo-Jung (Intruder), and Kim Sung-Ryung (The Call).
My pick of Best Supporting Actress was… Kim Sun-Young (The Day I Died).
Kim Sun-Young is a familiar face in Korean movies and dramas, and it’s great to see her receive more and more roles nowadays.
The fan’s pick of Best Supporting Actress was… Ye Soo-Jung (Intruder).
Earning 40% of the votes, Ye Soo-Jung is a veteran actress in Korean cinema, who also starred in the movies <Herstory>, <Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds>, and most recently, <An Old Lady>.
Best Lead Actor
With just three categories left, let’s now take a look at the nominations of “Best Lead Actor” of 2020. Nominated for “Best Lead Actor” were: Lee Byung-Hun (The Man Standing Next), Hwang Jung-Min (Deliver Us From Evil), Lee Jung-Jae (Deliver Us From Evil), Sung Dong-Il (Pawn), and Jung Woo-Sung (Beasts Clawing at Straws).
My pick for the Korean actor that showed the best performance of this year was… Lee Byung-Hun (The Man Standing Next).
I cannot express enough how amazing Lee Byung-Hun was in <The Man Standing Next>. It’s very rare to see Korean actors able to speak English while giving a good performance, but Lee Byung-Hun breaks down this barrier, as he’s able to do both in such a fine manner. And it’s not just the English performance, but just his mannerism and charisma really reaches a new height in this.
The fan’s pick for the Best Lead Actor was… Sung Dong-Il (Pawn).
Making up 41.5% of the votes, Mr. Sung Dong-Il is another very well-known veteran actor in Korea, who also starred in the movies <Metamorphosis>, <The Chase>, and <Midnight Runners>, as well as K-dramas such as “Reply 1988.” He was able to give a very humorous and emotional performance in <Pawn>, and was a wonderful casting choice for the film.
Best Lead Actress
“Best Lead Actress,” who were nominated for this category? Let’s take a look at which actresses had the honor of being nominated for “Best Lead Actress” : Shin Hye-Sun (Innocence), Jeon Do-Yeon (Beasts Clawing at Straws), Park So-Yi (Pawn), Shin Min-Ah (Diva), and Jeon Jong-Seo (The Call).
My pick for Best Lead Actress was… Jeon Jong-Seo (The Call)!
I think I briefly mentioned this before, but Jeon Jong-Seo was absolutely amazing in <The Call>. She really showed a new side to herself, and I believe this is only the start for her very bright acting future.
The fan’s pick for Best Lead Actress was… Shin Hye-Sun (Innocence).
Receiving 28.5% of the votes, Shin Hye-Sun was actually the runner-up for my pick as well, as I had a really hard time choosing between her and Jeon Jong-Seo. She was excellent in <Innocence> and really showed her acting skills. Ms. Shin also starred in <A Day> and most recently <Collectors>, as well as the K-drama “Stranger.”
Movie of the Year
And now, the last and biggest award of the show. The “Movie of the Year.” Which movie will take the honor of “Best Movie?” Let’s first take a look at the nominations: <The Man Standing Next>, <Deliver Us From Evil>, <Pawn>, <The Call>, and <Beasts Clawing at Straws>.
Which movie did I choose as the best film of 2020? My pick of Movie of the Year 2020 was… <The Man Standing Next>.
<The Man Standing Next> was a great movie experience that was not only informative but had intense suspense and thrill, and really sucks you in and keeps your attention throughout. It’s the mysterious vibe that captures your attention at first, and the story and acting that keeps it, and the suspense it gives near the end that’s the cherry on top.
And finally, the fan’s pick of the best K-movie of 2020. Which Korean film did the fans select as the “Movie of the Year” of 2020? The fan’s pick was… <The Call>!
Receiving a whopping 42.3%, <The Call> was also my pick of Best Thriller/Horror. The movie had great acting performances by the cast members, and also incredible thrill and suspense. As mentioned before, the movie had a global Netflix release, but I definitely would’ve loved to have seen this in theaters. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, it’s available on Netflix right now, so be sure to check it out.
Okay! That’s it for the 2020 K-Movie Awards! Thank you to everyone that read till the end, and especially to those that partook in the voting process. I would also like to once again show my appreciation to tvN Movies for their support in this year’s award show. I sincerely do hope everyone stays safe, and that 2021 will bring about only happiness to all of us. Let’s be honest, this year was a struggle for everyone, but let’s make this year a learning lesson, and strive for a greater year next year! Congratulations to all movies and actors and actresses that won this year, and I’m very much looking forward to what great Korean films we’ll be greeted by in 2021!
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Please keep in mind this review is composed of solely my own opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am in no way a professional writer, nor have I majored or studied journalism. This is for informative entertainment purpose only, representing my personal views. I do not own the images and/or videos used in the review. No copyright infringement intended.