Portrait of a Beauty

Portrait of a Beauty (2008)

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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 629 users
Reviews: 5 users

Born to a family of established court painters, seven-year-old Yun-jeong is a young girl gifted at painting. However, the pressure is on her brother to carry on the proud family tradition, as women aren't allowed to become professional painters. While her brother trains to take his place in the court, Yun-jeong helps him out by secretly painting for him. The little girl's life is turned upside down when her brother kills himself. read moreIn order to preserve the family honor, she is forced to take her brother's name and lives as a man. Yun-bok's genius and talent captures the heart of another great master of the time, Kim Hong-do.

But her daring depictions of women are condemned by the royal institute as obscene. Yun-bok meets Kang-mu and falls deeply in love. For the first time, she feels the strong desire to abandon everything she has built and simply be a woman in front of the man she loves. Kang-mu sacrifices all for his love as well. Kim Hong-do, who loved the genius of his best student, ends up loving everything about her, and Seol-hwa, a Gisaeng at the courtesan house, possesses a love for Hong-do that turns into fatal jealousy. The secret behind Shin Yun-bok's masterpiece, Portrait of a Beauty, is finally revealed after 250 years of silence.

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12 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jun 30, 2012
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
I have never read the novel that this was based on, so I don't know how faithful it is in regards to the story.

The story in the movie is good, interesting and although not a fast paced movie, the pace fits the story. This version seems a little darker than the drama series The Painter of the Wind.

The actors were mostly ok. Shin Yun Bok played by Kim Gyu Ri, read more was really well done. She managed to convey all the conflicting emotions of her character quite well. You could see within her the joy she had for painting, the pain and guilt she carried with her from her family, and the odd mixture of innocence and experience.
The other actors did well with their characters, but due to the limitations of time, most of the other characters were pretty flat.
I really disliked the portrayal of Kim Hong-Do, her mentor. Kim Nam-Gil had no subtlety in his portrayal. He went from nothing to all, out of no where (Sorry, I can't explain that more without spoilers). Park Shin Yang did a much better job with this role in the drama series The Painter of the Wind.

The music went very well with the movie, it swirled in the background like a brush on canvas.

I would also note that this movie is quite sexually explicit, and definitely not for younger viewers, though I thought that most of the sex scenes were relevant to the plot, so not completely gratuitous.

Overall, if you want to see this story I think I would recommend The Painter of the Wind as a better choice. The series is a piece of artwork in itself, with sweeping cinematography, breathtaking music, and outstanding works of art. The characters are richer and fuller, and the story is all encompassing and not quite as dark. However if you don't have time to commit to the drama and just want a quick movie, this is fine.
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8 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 5, 2011
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
Im not a fan of historical movies/dramas but this one I was quite fascinated with. The premise attracted me and the way the story was carried out was unpredictable right till the unsatisfying ending. I thought the acting was fantastic but I did not like any of the characters except for Kim Na Gil's. I would have also enjoyed the movie better if they got another actress to play the female lead. read more This is a movie I'll only be watching once although it is rewatchable.
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They are both based on the same novel, but I think Painter of the Wind does it better.
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Comments (8)

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  • Reply
    Mary28 Aug 16, 2017

    It was simply poetic.

  • Reply
    coco Oct 25, 2014 - edited

    where can i watch this?

  • Reply
    Sweety-Face Jul 15, 2014

    nice movie

  • Reply
    Ladybritaky May 19, 2014 - edited

    Can someone tells me jow this movie ends? I don't mind spoilers and I know it may sounds weird but I actually prefer to be spoiled for hostorical movies/ dramas.

  • Reply
    Lily2PM Apr 21, 2014

    Where can I watch this?

  • Reply
    Aggnes Jan 27, 2014

    A última cena foi muito linda, estou encantada!

  • Reply
    Kyrakitty Aug 28, 2013

    LOVED this movie. Kim Nam-gil is fabulous. The love story is beautiful and the love scene well done.

  • Reply
    ASDDGJOOWMWNA Sep 1, 2012

    *Didn't know this had a series until i read the comments XD*
    But still love the movie, Cried lie a baby in the last part! T_T

  • Reply
    karrot Jul 2, 2012

    I watched the series and loved it so really want to watch this but can't find it anywhere online with english subtitles can anyone help me ?!?!?!!?!?

    • Reply
      Nana87 Jul 15, 2012


    • Reply
      karrot Aug 4, 2012

      veoh doesn't work for me and i don't want to download it, however thanks for taking the time to answer :)

    • Reply
      Nana87 Aug 4, 2012

      aww that sucks, veoh was like the only site i found.

    • Reply
      karrot Aug 9, 2012

      I tried it out again and it seems like veoh works for me, it used to always say i could only watch the first 5 minutes unless i download the whole thingy, thanks

    • Reply
      Nana87 Aug 9, 2012

      lol ok cool

  • Reply
    eiyaah Jul 1, 2012

    i need to watch this i surely search this movie.. :}

  • Reply
    bitzu Jun 11, 2012

    the story is very sad...and the actors were great!!is one of my fav kmovies

  • Reply
    sweet_angellesley Jun 7, 2012

    it's like painter of the wind
    Gosh can't believe it's Kim Nam

  • Reply
    hannahkirstien May 15, 2012

    Where can I watch this?

  • Reply
    Maddallina Dec 21, 2011

    This is one of themost beautiful love story i have ever seen/read.even tough is a tragic story it captures you.so well done.i didnt expect the acting to be' so explicit.the love scenes were so realistic.nothing like i seen before.i love every thing about this movie.highly recomended!


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Release Date:

    Nov 13, 2008
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 48 min.


  • Score:

    7.4 (scored by 629 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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