Minari

Alan Kim, ladies and gentlemen: The cutest scene-stealer you ever did see!
Verdict: 
9/10 - Minari is a tender and heartwarming film with a terrific screenplay and strong performances all around
Release Date: 
Friday, April 2, 2021
Written by: 

Steven Yeun became the first Asian-American actor to be nominated for Best Actor for his work in this Korean-language drama.

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Minari is up for six awards - including Best Picture - at this year's Oscars. But will it emerge victorious at the ceremony?

If the hype and praise surrounding this film is anything to go by, you'd think so!

This semi-autobiographical movie, based on writer/director Lee Isaac Chung's upbringing, follows the Yi family as they relocate from California to Arkansas in search of the American Dream in the 1980s.

Patriarch Jacob (Steven Yeun) spends all their money on buying a plot of land, which he tries to turn into a farm for Korean produce with the help of local man Paul (Will Patton).

His wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) isn't impressed with their new trailer home, living so far away from town, and their money problems, so their marriage becomes strained.

They decide that her mother Soon-ja (Youn Yuh-jung) can come over from South Korea to live with them and their children Anne (Noel Kate Cho) and David (Alan Kim), who suffers from a heart condition.

 

Minari is a wonderful, tender film with an impressive screenplay, strong performances all around, and stunning cinematography.

The character dynamics within the family are well-crafted and it was interesting seeing how the introduction of Soon-ja - a very unconventional grandma figure - changes them.

Yeun and Yuh-jung have also been nominated for Oscars for their performances and it's clear to see why - Yeun delivers his most complex, nuanced emotional work ever here, while Yuh-jung is a joy to watch as the quirky, foul-mouthed grandma.

Although those two have been singled out, there isn't a weak link among the cast.

Ye-ri does well as the wife and mother at her wit's end, ready to ditch the farm and return to California, Cho's Anne who is wise beyond her years and looks after David, while Kim is the adorable scene-stealer with fantastic facial expressions.

Outside of the Korean-American cast, there's also Patton, who is unnerving as the eccentric and devoutly religious farmhand.

Believe the hype - Minari deserves all the praise and awards recognition it is getting as it's such a delightful, life-affirming film.

On demand and in virtual cinemas from Friday 2nd April. In cinemas once they reopen.

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