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Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

Kim Gyu Ri (Kim Min Sun) (Actor) | Choo Ja Hyun (Actor) | Kim Nam Gil (Actor) | Jeon Yun Soo (Director)
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Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (4)

YesAsia Editorial Description

In 2008, Korea paid double tribute to Shin Yun Bok, one of the country's greatest artists and the inspiration for both the Moon Geun Young-starring TV drama Painter of the Wind and Le Grand Chef director Jeon Yun Soo's provocative blockbuster Portrait of a Beauty. Based on Lee Jung Myung's best-selling novel, the sexually charged Portrait of a Beauty controversially reimagines renowned Joseon Dynasty painter Shin Yun Bok as a woman who lived her life disguised as a man. Kim Min Sun (Rainbow Eyes) delivers a stunning, sensual performance, playing her gender-bending role with erotic flair. Kim Nam Gil (No Regret, Public Enemy Returns) and Kim Young Ho (Night and Day) star as the two men who change her life.

Hailing from a long line of court painters, Yun Jung exhibits great artistic talent from a young age, but it is up to her brother, as the male, to carry on the family tradition. After her brother's death, however, the responsibility falls on the young girl's slender shoulders. Taking her brother's name, Shin Yun Jung becomes Shin Yun Bok. Disguised as a male, she comes of age at the royal painting institute where her bold depictions of sexuality and the female body both shock and enchant the artists of her time. Her art captures the heart of mentor and master painter Kim Hong Do (Kim Young Ho), but it is street ruffian Kang Moo (Kim Nam Gil) who awakens Yun Bok's eyes to the world and her own sexuality.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version) Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version) Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version) 美人図 Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Kim Gyu Ri (Kim Min Sun) (Actor) | Choo Ja Hyun (Actor) | Kim Nam Gil (Actor) 金玟善 (Actor) | 秋瓷炫 (Actor) | 金南佶 (Actor) 金玟善 (Actor) | 秋瓷炫 (Actor) | 金南佶 (Actor) キム・ミンソン (Actor) | チュ・ジャヒョン (Actor) | キム・ナムギル (Actor) 김 규리 (Actor) | 추자현 (Actor) | 김남길 (Actor)
Director: Jeon Yun Soo 田允秀 田允秀 チョン・ユンス 전윤수
Release Date: 2019-04-24
Publisher Product Code: TWDS-1141
Place of Origin: South Korea
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1075959004

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
キム・ナムギル / キム・ギュリ / キム・ヨンホ / チョン・ユンス (監督)


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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version)"

November 3, 2009

This professional review refers to Portrait of a Beauty (DVD) (Single Disc) (Korea Version)
Portrait of a Beauty sees Le Grand Chef director Jeon Yun Soo offering a fascinating take on the life of Shin Yun Bok, one of the greatest ever Korean artists, based upon the supposition that the painter was actually a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to chase her dreams in the male dominated Confucian society of the Joseon Dynasty. Although the film draws its premise from the same best-selling novel by Lee Jung Myung that inspired the 2008 television drama series Painter in the Wind which featured Moon Geun Young in the lead role, here Jeon ups the stakes somewhat by adding an erotic charge to the proceedings.

The film begins as a young girl called Shin Yun Jung from a family with a long tradition of painting inadvertently drives her brother to suicide after her works are assumed to be his. Growing to womanhood (played by actress Kim Min Sun, recently in Rainbow Eyes), she takes on her brother's name Shin Yun Bok and wins a place in the Royal Painting Institute, training to be a court painter under the tutelage of master painter Kim Hong Do (Kim Young Ho, Night and Day). Unfortunately, she finds herself unable to restrict her painting to the confines of traditional morality, and stirs up trouble with her naturalistic depictions of sex and naked female forms. At the same time, her own sexuality begins to blossom, and she falls for street hustler Kang Moo (Kim Nam Gil, also in No Regret) and Public Enemy Returns), crossing the class lines and causing much gender confusion.

Controversy aside, the idea at the heart of Portrait of a Beauty is an interesting one, as beyond the immediate narrative and historical drama it allows director Jeon to explore wider issues of morality and hypocrisy still relevant today. To an extent, Confucianism is a relatively easy target when it comes to themes of repression, though here they are balanced with the protagonist's own personal journey and search for identity, and the film is driven by its characters rather than any simple demonising of the past. Kim Min Sun is excellent in the lead role, turning in a brave, complex performance that goes a long way to externalising the character's inner turmoil and conflicted desires for her art and heart. Jeon also explores the artistic aspects of the tale, paying a great deal of attention to Shin Yun Bok's painting methods and techniques as well as the final results, and this helps to give the proceedings an air of authenticity, if perhaps in spirit rather than fact. Although obviously this will likely make the film of particular interest to viewers with even a passing interest in classical Asian art, it remains largely focused on the human aspects of the tale, and never gets lost in the details.

Inevitably, it is the film's sexual content which has attracted most of the attention, and with good reason, as it is a very frank and graphic affair. There is a great deal of skin on show, predominantly female, with a number of long sex scenes of various types and persuasions. However, Jeon manages to keep things tasteful and relevant to the plot, and never allows the film to degenerate into cheap titillation. Indeed, most of the scenes of sex or nudity are directly related to Shin Yun Bok's artistic and personal awakening, and as such take on an air of wonder and self-discovery. Away from the sex, Jeon's direction is artistically inclined without being too stylised throughout, and although the plot does meander somewhat, the visuals help to keep the viewer engaged. Some of the imagery is really quite beautiful in places, as he attempts to show the world through the painter's eyes, with fields of flowers, misty mountains and waterfalls all finding their way from the screen to her canvas in poetic fashion.

Although the sex and gender swapping play important roles, it is this aspect which really infuses Portrait of a Beauty with fascinating life and makes it one of the more interesting Korean historical dramas of recent years. Anchored by an excellent lead performance by Kim Min Sun in the lead role that gives the film its emotional core, it transcends the inevitable controversy by offering something with impressive depth and artistic spirit.

by James Mudge -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Portrait of the Beauty (DVD) (Japan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (4)

See all my reviews

November 30, 2009

This customer review refers to Portrait of a Beauty (DVD) (Single Disc) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Nice story Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Wow... its a movie that has a story. Although are the scenes that are not really for children, they story calls for the steamy scenes.

It's a movie you should take a look.
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Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

April 25, 2009

This customer review refers to Portrait of a Beauty (DVD) (2-Disc) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

A ravishingly beautiful portrait of an artist Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
"Portrait of a Beauty" is a gem. It works beautifully on so many different levels. At the heart of the movie is the artist Shin Yun Jung (Kim Min Sun), a beautiful woman trapped by circumstances in a man's world. She carries the guilt of her younger brother's suicide and the life-destroying anger of her father's failed career. But, against all odds, she finds her own artistic voice, a voice rooted in depictions of the erotic lives of princes and paupers. Unfortunately, such an artistic vision is out of step with what was deemed acceptable in her age; the revelation of her great achievement may lead to her downfall.

Set alongside this story of an artist attaining her own voice, we have a romantic triangle in which Shin Yun Jung falls for the dashingly handsome street urchin Kang Moo (Kim Nam Gil) who lives by his wits, while she is coveted by her mentor, the court painter Kim Hong Do (Kim Young Ho). While this is a rather conventional aspect of the film, it is seamlessly woven into the film's narrative and fuels the larger story of the artist finding her voice. Another important thread in the film's fabric is the story of Seol-hwa (Chu Ja-Hyeon), a courtesan trapped in a hopeless love for Kim Hong Do, who seeks to cement that relationship by fostering Shin Yun Jung's passion for Kang Moo.

The film's cinematography is gorgeous, both in its urban and pastoral settings. The set design and costuming is lushly sensual. The soundtrack music sweeps the viewer along. And director Jeon Yun Soo pulls it all together into a wonderfully romantic story. Kim Min Sun does a terrific job in her complex role. Chu Ja-Hyeon practically steals the show with her heart-breaking performance as the lovelorn courtesan.

Yes, there are startlingly explicit sex scenes in "Portrait of a Beauty", but they never seem exploitative, but instead serve to advance and deepen the story. While this film doesn't delve quite as deeply into the intense passion to create that fuels a great artist as does Im Kwon-Taek's "Painted Fire", "Portrait of a Beauty" succeeds both as a popular entertainment and a portrait of an artist through the sheer power of its romanticism.
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Best Review
See all my reviews

April 12, 2009

This customer review refers to Portrait of a Beauty (DVD) (2-Disc) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

A good movie Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Hello, I'm watching Korean movies since some years, but it was almost always in modern settings. Right now, I'm trying to see more historical movies, because it is interesting. I've seen plenty of historical movies from Japan and China. Now I'm discovering what is specifically Korean. So when I read the description of this movie, I wanted to try it. This movie is really beautiful, all the pictures and costumes were awesome and the acting was quite good. Even if I can hardly believe that Kim Min-Sun could be mistaken for a man. She's too pretty , too feminin to fool anyone about her gender. It's true the movie isn't fast, but it enable you to discover the life outside during the Jeoseon Dynasty. We discover it in the same time as "Yun-Bok" and it's great. But I was surprise by the mature content of the movie. Often, the cover is more provocative then the movie it self, but not this time. Anyway, most all of it was tasteful. The story of 'Yun-Bok' is a sad one, but a beautiful historical story. I recommend that movie for the people who wants to watch an historical drama about a woman who was caught into the confuceans traditions.
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See all my reviews

March 23, 2009

This customer review refers to Portrait of a Beauty (DVD) (2-Disc) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Sexy yet slow and Meandering Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Shin Yoon Bok, Hye won, whatever you want to call him/her is a pretty interesting character. I mean Moon Geun Young won Best Actress award for portrying him/her in Painter in the Wind and now Kim Min Sun is at the helm of this interesting subject.

It was a good movie and somewhat shocking at the level of sex in it. When I bought this, I bought it because I own Painter in the Wind and I wanted to see another version of Shin Yook Bok. I got that and found Kim Min Sun portrayle to be a good one, it was a bit more rounded, as a human being with desires and flaws, but it didnt make Shin Yook Bok very likable.

That being said the plot of the film went quite slowly, it was definatly artsy and was paced like Lust, Caution. Its totally worth watching, but a bit slow.
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