Hailing from South Korea, Kim Min-hee is an actress who has garnered critical acclaim for her nuanced performances, naturalistic style, and her fearless choice of roles.
With a career that began in modeling and extended to television before reaching the realms of cinema, Kim’s journey has been characterized by a constant evolution in her acting prowess and choice of roles.
This progression has cemented her reputation as one of the most intriguing and formidable talents in contemporary Korean cinema.
Born in 1982, Kim Min-hee started her career as a model in the late 1990s before transitioning into acting.
Initially recognized for her roles in popular television dramas, she subsequently transitioned to the silver screen, where she found her true calling. Despite her early fame and success, it wasn’t until the 2010s that Kim truly began to receive critical recognition for her work.
A significant turning point in Kim’s career was her collaboration with acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo. Together, they have crafted some of the most memorable films in recent Korean cinema, with Kim often playing complex, introspective characters navigating emotional and existential crises.
These roles have showcased her acting range and her ability to bring depth and humanity to every character she portrays.
Best Kim Min-hee Movies
The success of Kim Min-hee lies not just in her acting abilities, but also in her courage to tackle unconventional roles and narratives. Her collaborations with various filmmakers have resulted in a filmography that is diverse, compelling, and reflective of her growth as an actor.
The following list presents some of Kim Min-hee’s most outstanding films, each showcasing her exceptional talent and commitment to her craft. These films illustrate the remarkable range of her acting abilities and her unique contribution to contemporary Korean cinema.
1. Sang-hee in Hotel by the River (Hong Sang-soo, 2018)
“Sang-hee in Hotel by the River” is a 2018 South Korean movie directed by Hong Sang-soo. The movie revolves around an aging poet named Younghwan, who checks into a hotel by the river to contemplate his life and work.
At the hotel, he encounters his estranged son and a young woman named Sang-hee, who has just been dumped by her boyfriend. Over the course of their stay at the hotel, they engage in conversations about life, love, and the nature of existence.
The movie received critical acclaim for its poignant performances and nuanced storytelling, and was praised for its ability to capture the complexities of human relationships.
It features a talented cast, including Ki Joo-bong as Younghwan, Kim Min-hee as Sang-hee, and Song Seon-mi as Younghwan’s ex-wife.
2. Hee Jung in Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
Hee Jung is the female lead character in the South Korean film “Right Now, Wrong Then” directed by Hong Sang-soo in 2015.
She is played by actress Kim Min-hee. Hee Jung is an artist who meets a well-known film director named Ham Chun-su, played by Jung Jae-young, while on a trip to a small town.
The film explores the interactions and possible romantic relationship between the two characters as they spend time together over the course of a day.
3. Gam Hee in The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sang-soo, 2019)
Gam Hee is the main character in the 2019 film “The Woman Who Ran,” directed by Hong Sang-soo. The film follows Gam Hee (played by Kim Min-hee) as she visits three of her friends over the course of a few days while her husband is away on a business trip.
Throughout the film, Gam Hee engages in conversations with her friends about a variety of topics, from love and relationships to work and travel. The film is a character study that explores Gam Hee’s thoughts and emotions as she reconnects with her friends and reflects on her own life.
As the film progresses, it becomes clear that Gam Hee is struggling with feelings of dissatisfaction and restlessness in her life, despite appearing to have a comfortable and stable existence.
Through her conversations with her friends, she begins to confront these feelings and consider new possibilities for her future.
Kim Min-hee delivers a powerful performance as Gam Hee, portraying her as a complex and multi-dimensional character who is both relatable and enigmatic.
Hong Sang-soo’s direction and cinematography capture the intimate and contemplative nature of the film, inviting viewers to reflect on their own lives and relationships.
Overall, “The Woman Who Ran” is a beautifully crafted film that offers a poignant and insightful exploration of the human experience. It is a must-see for fans of character-driven cinema and those interested in contemporary Korean cinema.
4. Yeong-hee in On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
Yeong-hee is the main character in “On the Beach at Night Alone,” a 2017 South Korean drama film directed by Hong Sang-soo.
The film follows Yeong-hee, played by actress Kim Min-hee, a young woman who has recently broken up with her married lover and is struggling to come to terms with the end of their relationship.
Throughout the film, Yeong-hee grapples with feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, and uncertainty about her future. She spends time wandering the streets of a seaside town, reflecting on her past relationship and attempting to move on.
As she interacts with various people, including old friends and new acquaintances, Yeong-hee begins to confront her own emotions and desires, ultimately coming to a better understanding of herself and what she wants out of life.
Kim Min-hee delivers a powerful performance as Yeong-hee, capturing the character’s complex emotions and inner turmoil with great depth and sensitivity.
The film itself has been praised for its naturalistic dialogue, quiet introspection, and insightful commentary on love, loss, and human connection.
Overall, “On the Beach at Night Alone” is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film, anchored by Kim Min-hee’s compelling portrayal of Yeong-hee.
5. Lady Hideko in The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, 2016)
Lady Hideko is a central character in the film “The Handmaiden” directed by Park Chan-wook in 2016. Here are three reasons why Lady Hideko’s character is worth watching in the film:
Complex Character: Lady Hideko is a complex character with many layers, making her a fascinating character to watch.
As an heiress living in a secluded mansion, she appears to be a victim of her uncle’s schemes, but as the story progresses, it becomes clear that she has more agency than first appears.
Her interactions with the other characters, particularly the handmaiden Sook-hee, reveal more about her motivations and desires, making her an intriguing character to follow.
Compelling Performer: The actress Kim Min-hee, who plays Lady Hideko, delivers a captivating performance that brings out the nuances of the character. Her portrayal of Lady Hideko’s emotions, from vulnerability to strength, is subtle and nuanced, making her a standout in the film.
Themes of Identity and Power: Lady Hideko’s character is central to the film’s exploration of themes of identity and power.
Her relationship with Sook-hee, and the power dynamics at play between them, sheds light on issues of gender, class, and sexuality. As the story unfolds, Lady Hideko’s own sense of identity is called into question, making for a thought-provoking exploration of these themes.
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6. Seong Hyo-gwan in Moby Dick (Park In-je, 2010)
“Moby Dick” is a 2011 South Korean film directed by Park In-je. Seong Hyo-gwan plays a character named Seong Hyo-gwan in the film.
In “Moby Dick,” Seong Hyo-gwan portrays a North Korean defector who is a part of a group of people attempting to escape from North Korea.
The film follows their perilous journey as they face various challenges and dangers, including human traffickers, as they try to make their way to South Korea in search of freedom.
Seong Hyo-gwan’s character represents the struggles and hardships faced by North Korean defectors, shedding light on the harsh reality of their situation and the risks they take to seek a better life.
“Moby Dick” explores themes of escape, survival, and the human spirit’s resilience in the face of adversity.
The film has been praised for its performances, including Seong Hyo-gwan’s portrayal of his character, which brings depth and authenticity to the story.
“Moby Dick” has been recognized for its realistic depiction of the challenges faced by North Korean defectors and has received critical acclaim for its compelling storytelling and thought-provoking themes.
7. Cha Kyeong-seon in Helpless (Byeon Yeong-joo, 2011)
Helpless” (Korean title: “Hwacha”) is a South Korean mystery thriller film directed by Byeon Yeong-joo, released in 2011. As a French movie introduction, “Helpless” is not a French film, but rather a South Korean film.
However, if you are interested in the works of Cha Kyeong-seon, who is a South Korean actress known for her performance in “Helpless,” here is some information about the film.
“Helpless” is based on the Japanese novel “All She Was Worth” by Miyuki Miyabe. It tells the story of a man named Mun-ho, played by Lee Sun-kyun, whose fiancée, Seon-yeong, played by Kim Min-hee, goes missing on the day of their wedding.
As Mun-ho searches for her, he unravels a complex web of deception and discovers shocking secrets about Seon-yeong’s true identity.
Cha Kyeong-seon plays the role of Han-na, a mysterious and enigmatic character in “Helpless.” Her performance in the film is praised for its intensity and depth, adding a layer of intrigue to the storyline.
“Helpless” is known for its suspenseful narrative, intriguing plot twists, and skillful direction by Byeon Yeong-joo.
The film has won several awards and has been critically acclaimed for its compelling storytelling and strong performances, including Cha Kyeong-seon’s portrayal of Han-na.
While “Helpless” may not be a French film, it is a noteworthy South Korean thriller that showcases the talents of Cha Kyeong-seon and other talented actors.
If you enjoy mystery thrillers with intricate plots and compelling characters, “Helpless” is a film worth checking out, regardless of its country of origin.
8. Man-hee in Claire’s Camera (Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
In “Claire’s Camera” (2017), Man-hee is portrayed by Kim Min-hee, who frequently collaborates with Hong Sang-soo in his films.
The film follows a part-time teacher named Claire, played by Isabelle Huppert, who visits the Cannes Film Festival and strikes up an unlikely friendship with Man-hee, a sales assistant at a film company.
The film explores themes of truth, perception, and relationships in Hong Sang-soo’s signature style of naturalistic dialogue and introspective characters.
9. Ah Mi in Hellcats (Kwon Chil-in, 2007)
Ah Mi is a character in the South Korean film “Hellcats” directed by Kwon Chil-in in 2008. She is played by actress Lee Yo-won. Ah Mi is a former national volleyball player who was forced to quit the sport due to an injury.
She becomes involved with a group of female bikers and helps them win a race against a male biker gang.
Throughout the film, Ah Mi struggles to come to terms with her past and her feelings towards the female biker group’s leader, played by Kim Min-hee. The film is a blend of action, drama, and romance.
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10. Chang-sook in The Day After (Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
Chang-sook is a character in the film “The Day After” directed by Hong Sang-soo in 2017. She is the wife of a book publisher who is having an affair with his employee. Chang-sook confronts the employee, Areum, and fires her.
Throughout the film, Chang-sook struggles to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity and the consequences of her actions towards Areum.
She eventually opens up to her husband about her feelings and tries to reconcile with him. The character of Chang-sook is portrayed by actress Kim Sae-byuk.
3 Reasons To Watch Kim Min-hee Movies
Versatile Acting Skills: Kim Min-hee is a highly talented actress who can play a variety of roles with ease.
She has starred in both dramatic and comedic films, showcasing her ability to portray a wide range of emotions and characters. Her performances are often praised for their subtlety, nuance, and naturalism.
Collaboration with Acclaimed Directors: Kim Min-hee has worked with some of the most renowned filmmakers in South Korea, including Hong Sang-soo, Park Chan-wook, and Im Sang-soo.
Her collaborations with Hong Sang-soo have garnered particular attention and critical acclaim, with her performances in films such as “The Handmaiden” and “On the Beach at Night Alone” earning her numerous awards and nominations.
Impact on Korean Cinema: Kim Min-hee is considered one of the most influential actresses in contemporary South Korean cinema.
She has been credited with bringing a new level of complexity and depth to female characters in Korean films, challenging traditional gender roles and expectations.
Her performances have also been noted for their feminist themes and social commentary, making her a compelling figure in the world of Korean cinema.
Best Kim Min-hee Movies – Wrap Up
The Handmaiden (2016) – Directed by Park Chan-wook, Kim Min-hee plays the character of Lady Hideko in this critically acclaimed film that explores themes of power and identity.
On the Beach at Night Alone (2017) – Kim Min-hee won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for her performance in this drama about a woman trying to come to terms with a failed relationship.
Right Now, Wrong Then (2015) – Directed by Hong Sang-soo, this film won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival and features Kim Min-hee in a leading role as a painter who meets a film director.
The Day After (2017) – Another film directed by Hong Sang-soo, this drama sees Kim Min-hee play the role of a publisher’s assistant who becomes entangled in an affair with her boss.
Helpless (2012) – In this thriller film directed by Byun Young-joo, Kim Min-hee plays a woman searching for her missing fiancé.
These films showcase Kim Min-hee’s range as an actress and her ability to tackle complex roles in different genres.