A Korean-American family faces challenges when they move from California to a tiny farm in Arkansas in search of their own America Dream in Lee Isaac Chung’s tender and semi-autobiographical film, Minari.
Mainly told through the eyes of youngest son, David (newcomer and genuine cutie, Alan S. Kim), Minari is a gentle, heartfelt and simply beautiful tale of the American Dream and the strength of family.
Although the film is quieter than most dramas this awards season, it remains poignant and powerful throughout, directly speaking to those who risked it all for their family and for their dreams.
Minari truly works because of its dynamic ensemble of performances led by Steven Yeung, who stars as the family’s patriarch. His portrayal of a man torn between supporting his family and following his dreams feels so genuine. It’s certainly an internal but impactful performance.
However, Youn Yuh-Jung is the scene-stealer. Everytime this foul-mouthed, cheery, and honest grandmother is on screen is an absolute joy.
She provides genuine humor to relieve some of the tension. Plus, at the end of the day, her relationship with David, is the central heart of the film. I am really pulling for her this awards season.
Minari isn’t overly complex. There are no insane plot twists or overly dramatic monologues. In fact, viewers may find its pacing too slow.
However Minari is a hopeful and sensitive portrait that shares what really matters most — family.
And in a world that feels like it’s constantly falling apart, sometimes we need a reminder of what really matters.
Final Thoughts: Charming and heartfelt, Minari is an authentic portrait of family.