The Face Reader

2013 South Korean film directed by Han Jae-rim

The Face Reader is South Korean movie released on September 11, 2013. It was made by director Han Jae-rim and actor Song Kang-ho (who has also acted in the movie Snowpiercer) appears in the title role of the movie. It won six awards at the 50th Grand Bell Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Han Jae-rim, and Best Actor for Song Kang-ho. Also, at The 33rd annual Korean Association of Film Critics Awards held on November 29, The Face Reader also won three awards for Best Male Actor, Best New Actor, and Best Music Score.

Historic backgroundEdit

King Munjong (1414–1452), the fifth King of the Joseon Dynasty, succeeded King Sejong in 1450 as the first son of him. However, two years later because of disease he died and was followed by his young son King Danjong. King Danjong ascend the thrown at the age of 12 and was forced to abdicate by his uncle, Grand Prince Suyang who became Sejo of Joseon, and exiled to Yeongwol County. Sejo produced a coup d'état and became the seventh king himself in 1455


The main character, Nae-gyeong, could not run for public office as the son of a disgraced yangban live in seclusion and works as a physiognomist. He is able to assess the personality, mental state and habits of a person by looking at his or her face. One day, Yeon- hong who is a famous gisaeng in Joseon dynasty visits him to suggest a partnership that reading the faces of Yeon-hong’s guest and receiving money. As becoming famous at hanyang, a capital city of Joseon dynasty, he was called from the royal courts where he seeks out the talented person who can do work well. Meanwhile, King Munjong who has feeling of danger as his condition gets worse orders Nae-gyeong to identify the potential traitors who threaten his reign. After the death of Munjong, Nae-gyeong tries to keep his loyalty to the late King and help Kim Jongseo protect the young King which forces him into the biggest power struggle in the history of the Joseon dynasty.