2020 ( USA ) ( Drama )
( Korean with English subtitles )
DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim
Lee Isaac Chung’s winning family drama is actually a bittersweet account of the writer-director’s childhood in rural Arkansas, and nearly everything in it is drawn from his own memories. Each detail is so specific, each scene so uncontrived, and each performance so authentic that it never feels as if someone has made up a story; it feels as if they are sharing vivid anecdotes from an upbringing that was rich enough to be put on screen without embellishment.
Sensitively written and acted, beautifully shot, and with a charming, sparingly used score, Minari is so engaging that it’s easy to forget how radical it is. Just a few years ago, a US film about a Korean-American family, with almost all of its dialogue in Korean, would have been unimaginable. Now we have a US film which focuses on one particular Korean-American family in one particular location, and yet it has so much warmth and truth to it that it will be embraced by audiences everywhere.