Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk. Once again, it’s that time of year where we look back at the past year and review the amazing movies that came out of Korean cinema. This year I’m enthused to announce that tvN Movies has partnered up with EonTalk once more to present this year’s Korean movie awards. tvN Movies provides the latest Korean blockbusters in Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, and this is the second year that this partnership is ongoing, and so I’m super excited and honored to be collaborating with them once again.
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2021 has been another crazy rollercoaster ride and so much has happened. What we hoped would be the end of the pandemic, only seemed to get even worse in recent days and weeks. However, I’m sure many of you are looking forward to another new start to the year, as I am. I sincerely do hope the new year will bring about stability and a healthy, safe world, and a lot more great Korean movies as well. But before we look forward to 2022, let’s look back at the noteworthy Korean films that came out in 2021.
A voting process took place from December 24th to the 31st on thirteen different categories of Best Comedy, Best Action, Best Crime/Mystery, Best Thriller/Horror, Best Melodrama/Romance, 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.
The 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 the actor the EonTalk community members chose through the voting process. Okay then, that being said, let’s get right into the reveal of all the winners.
The first category of the 2021 EonTalk movie awards is Best Comedy. Nominated for the best comedy of 2021 were: <Sinkhole>, <Mission: Possible>, <Nothing Serious>, <Perhaps Love>, and <Pipeline>.
My pick for the Best Comedy of 2021 was <Sinkhole>.
Starring Cha Seung Won, Kim Sung Kyun, Lee Kwang Soo, Kwon So Hyun, and Kim Hye Jun, <Sinkhole> was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen recently. It was not only one of the best disaster films of recency, but comedies as well. And it didn’t only have comedy, but also thrill and suspense, action, and emotion as well.
The fans pick of Best Comedy of 2021 was also <Sinkhole>.
Taking 35.6% of the votes for this category, the fans also agreed that <Sinkhole> was the best comedy of 2021.
Moving on to the next category, nominated for the Best Action of 2021 were: <Escape from Mogadishu>, <Hostage: Missing Celebrity>, <Hard Hit>, <Seobok>, and <Space Sweepers>.
The movie that I chose as the Best Action of this year was <Escape from Mogadishu>
<Escape from Mogadishu> had a superb cast of Kim Yoon Seok, Jo In Sung, Heo Jun Ho, Koo Kyo Hwan, Kim So Jin, and Jung Man Shik, and really places you in the scenes. You can feel the emotions, the suspense, and vibes of the situations, and that’s thanks to the amazing acting along with the cinematography and effects the film had.
What film did the fans pick as the Best Action? The fan’s pick was <Space Sweepers>.
Receiving 26.9% of the votes, <Space Sweepers> inched out <Escaped from Mogadishu> to win the hearts of the fans. The film had a cast lineup of Song Joong Ki, Kim Tae Ri, Jin Seon Kyu, and Yoo Hae Jin, and the movie was a new endeavor in terms of genre for Korean cinema, as it not only was an action film but also a space opera.
Next, the Best Crime/Mystery. Nominated for this category were: <On the Line>, <Night in Paradise>, <Tomb of the River>, <Spiritwalker>, and <Recalled>.
My pick for Best Crime/Mystery of 2021 was <On the Line>.
Released in September of 2021, <On the Line> had an incredible cast line up of Byun Yo Han, Kim Mu Yeol, Kim Hee Won, and Park Myung Hoon, and had good action, thrill, an intriguing storyline, and suspenseful moments.
The fans pick of Best Crime/Mystery was <Recalled>.
Acquiring a massive 63.2% of the total votes, this was the biggest gap between 1st and 2nd place of all the categories. The movie starred Seo Yea Ji and Kim Kang Woo, and was a mystery-thriller that had lots of twists and moments of suspense.
Going into the category of Best Thriller/Horror, the nominations included: <Midnight>, <Whispering Corridors 6: The Humming>, <Guimoon: The Lightless Door>, <Hypnosis>, and <The Grotesque Mansion>.
My pick of Best Thriller/Horror was <Midnight>.
Starring Jin Ki Joo, Wi Ha Jun, Park Hoon, Gil Hae Yeon, and Kim Hye Yoon, <Midnight> was one of the best thriller/chaser movies I’ve seen recently. The acting was phenomenal by everyone, especially Jin Ki-Joo and Wi Ha-Joon, and the cinematography and auditory elements of the film was incredible.
The fans’ pick of best thriller/horror was: also <Midnight>.
<Midnight> was another film that had an extremely high poll percentage, receiving a whopping 61%. As mentioned, an incredible thriller that’s a must watch if you love Korean thrillers.
The next category is Best Melodrama/Romance. The nominations for this category included: <Miracle>, <Waiting for Rain>, <New Year Blues>, <Josee>, and <Double Patty>.
First, my pick. My pick of Best Melodrama/Romance of 2021 was <Miracle>.
<Miracle> is a film that hits the feels while also giving you moments of laughter, and had amazing performances by Park Jung Min, Lee Sung Min, Lim Yoona, and Lee Soo Kyung.
The fan’s pick? The fan’s selection of Best Melodrama/Romance was <Josee>.
This was another close game, as <Josee> received 25.7% of the votes and <Miracle> received 23.5%. Starring Han Ji Min and Nam Joo Hyuk, <Josee> was a very “real” movie. I especially thought the acting and cinematography of the film were noteworthy.
Moving along, which movie won the category of Best Drama? Let’s first take a look at the nominations: <The Book of Fish>, <The Box>, <Three Sisters>, <I>, and <Young Adult Matters>.
Which film did I choose as the Best Drama of 2021? My pick was <I>.
This very real film starred Kim Hyang Gi, Ryu Hyun Kyung, and Yeom Hye Ran, and I loved how it wasn’t forced. The film really packs a hit in the emotional department, and I can’t emphasize enough how real the movie is.
And the fans also agreed, as the fan’s pick of best drama was also <I>.
Drawing in 23.5% of the votes, <I> is definitely something you need to watch if you love Korean drama films.
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Okay, now moving on to the category of best cast. Let’s take a look at the nominations of which films had the best cast members: <Sinkhole>, <Space Sweepers>, <Perhaps Love>, <Escape from Mogadishu>, and <New Year Blues>.
Which film did I believe have the best cast? <Space Sweepers>.
And the fans pick? Also <Space Sweepers>.
<Space Sweepers> received 28.8% of the votes, which is less than a 1% difference from the runner-up, <Sinkhole>. <Space Sweepers> had an A-list cast of Song Joong Ki, Kim Tae Ri, Jin Seon Kyu, and Yoo Hae Jin, and is definitely deserving of the title, “Best Cast.”
Next, the Best Director. Which directors were nominated for this category? Ryu Seung Wan <Escape from Mogadishu>, Kim Ji Hoon <Sinkhole>, Lee Jun Ik <The Book of Fish>, Park Hoon Jung <Night in Paradise>, and Lee Yong Ju <Seobok>.
First, my pick for the best director of 2021 was Ryu Seung Wan, the director of <Escape from Mogadishu>.
I had an absolutely great time watching the film Ryu Seung Wan directed, <Escape from Mogadishu>, and must praise him for directing such a great movie. The man also directed the likes of: <The Battleship Island>, <Veteran>, <The Berlin File>, and <The Unjust>.
The fans’ pick of Best Director of 2021 was Park Hoon Jung, the director of <Night in Paradise>.
Receiving 24.5% of the votes, Park Hoon Jung, who also directed <The Witch: Pt 1 – The Subversion>, <VIP>, <The Tiger>, and <New World>, was the best director selected by the fans of the EonTalk community.
Best Supporting Actor
Going into the Best Supporting Actor, let’s take a look at which actors were nominated in this category: Lee Sung Min <Miracle>, Koo Kyo Hwan <Escape from Mogadishu>, Lee Kwang Soo <Sinkhole>, Jin Seon Kyu <Space Sweepers>, and Ryu Kyung Soo <Hostage: Missing Celebrity>.
My pick of Best Supporting Actor was Lee Kwang Soo.
The fan’s pick of Best Supporting Actor of 2021 was also Lee Kwang Soo.
Lee Kwang Soo was absolutely hilarious in his role in <Sinkhole>, and received a total of 40.6% of the votes for this category. He played his signature goofy and awkward character, and showed once again that he’s not only a good entertainer, but also a great actor as well.
Best Supporting Actress
And the next category is Best Supporting Actress. The nominations are: Lee Yoo Mi <Hostage: Missing Celebrity>, Lee Soo Kyung <Miracle>, Kim Sun Young <Three Sisters>, Yeom Hye Ran <I>, and Kim Hye Jun <Sinkhole>.
My pick of Best Supporting Actress was Yeom Hye Ran.
It was really good to see Yeom Hye Ran in that hard, tough, gangster-like role in <I>, and I’d love to see her more in that tougher role. It’s great to see her in more and more productions nowadays.
Who did the fans pick? The fan’s pick of Best Supporting Actress was Kim Sun Young
Kim Sun Young, who was in <Three Sisters>, was selected as my choice of Best Supporting Actress last year, won this category again this year, but with the fan’s choice. Receiving a total of 26.3% of the votes, Kim Sun Young definitely deserves this honor.
Best Lead Actor
With just three categories left, let’s now take a look at the nominations of Best Lead Actor of 2021. Nominated for Best Actor were: Sol Kyung Gu <The Book of Fish>, Kim Yoon Seok <Escape from Mogadishu>, Wi Ha Jun <Midnight>, Park Jung Min <Miracle>, and Hwang Jung Min <Hostage: Missing Celebrity>.
My pick for the Korean actor that showed the best performance of this year was Kim Yoon Seok.
Kim Yoon Seok was an absolutely perfect fit in his role in <Escape from Mogadishu>. Actually, everyone was casted superbly in this movie, and the acting performances were one of the biggest positives of this film. However, Kim Yoon Seok shined even greater, which is why I chose him as the Best Lead Actor of 2021.
The fans’ pick for the Best Lead actor was Wi Ha Jun.
Acquiring 48.6% of the votes, Wi Ha Jun showcased an extremely eerie, in a good way, performance in <Midnight>. His villain acting was freakishly good and if you’re a fan of his, <Midnight> is a must watch.
Best Lead Actress
Moving along to Best Lead Actress, let’s take a look at which actresses had the honor of being nominated for Best Lead Actress: Kim Hyang Gi <I>, Jeon Jong Seo <Nothing Serious>, Jin Ki Ju <Midnight>, Lim Yoona <Miracle>, and Seo Yea Ji <Recalled>.
My pick for Best Lead Actress was Kim Hyang Gi.
I briefly mentioned before that <I> was a very real movie, and it’s Kim Hyang Gi’s amazing performance why the film was such a real one. She was incredible in this, and she continues to grow as an outstanding actress. I’m very much looking forward to her next work.
And the fan’s pick? The fan’s selection of Best Lead Actress was Seo Yea Ji.
Racking up a staggering 56.7%, Seo Yea Ji put on a good performance in <Recalled>. The film was also selected as the Best Crime/Mystery for this year as well.
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: <Sinkhole>, <Miracle>, <The Book of Fish>, <Escape from Mogadishu>, and <Midnight>.
Which movie did I choose as the Best Film of 2021? My pick of Movie of the Year 2021 was <Escape from Mogadishu>.
Two of the biggest positives of <Escape from Mogadishu> that I found were the casting and acting, as well as the cinematography. The casting was done superbly. Everyone fit their roles great, and it wasn’t just the casting that was amazing, but the performances given were what made it even better. Also, the production team did an excellent job in building the film set, and really put the audience in the setting.
And finally, the fan’s pick of the Best K-movie of 2021. Which Korean film did the fans select as the Movie of the Year of 2021? The fan’s pick was <Midnight>.
Receiving a total of 35%, I also had a hard time choosing between <Escape from Mogadishu> and <Midnight>. <Midnight> was definitely one of the better thrillers out of Korean cinema recently. I remember clenching onto my seat throughout its duration, and the silent moments were what made it so special. If you love Korean thrillers, this is a must watch.
Okay, that’s it for the 2021 EonTalk Movie Awards. Thank you to everyone that read, and especially to those that took part 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 2022 will bring about only happiness to all of us. Congratulations to all the movies and actors and actresses that won this year, and I’m very much looking forward to what great Korean films we will be greeted by in this coming year. That being said, once again I’d like to thank everyone that watched till the end, and I’ll see you guys in next year’s EonTalk Movie Awards.
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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.