Heartfelt family drama a win for Korean acting legend

Minari explores the story of a Korean family's migration.
Minari is a story of togetherness and of the difficulties migrants face. This review by Taran Pannu’s is the first in a series featuring this year's Academy Award nominated and winning films.


Film: Minari
Starring: Steven Yeun; Han Ye-ri; Alan Kim; Noel Kate Cho; Yuh-jung Youn; Will Patton
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Awards: Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for Yuh-jung Youn; many others
Showing at: Cinema Nova
Verdict: Recommended

Minari is a soft, tender and loving film that showcases the hardships migrants experience.

It explores the pressure they feel when promising their families a better life and the lengths they will go to in order to provide for the ones they love.

While not as dramatically powerful nor memorable as some of the other Academy nominees for Best Picture this year, Minari is a win for Korean director Lee Isaac Chung and international films as a whole.

Heartfelt family drama a win for Korean acting legend
Young actor Alan S. Kim has been nominated for a host of awards for his role in the film.

Minari is, first and foremost, a Korean American tale told by the citizens of its country, exploring the migrant struggle and conflict they often endure while trying to obtain the American dream.

Steven Yeun (Burning, The Walking Dead, Okja) stars as a pressured father wanting to succeed and do right by his family, moving them from California to rural Arkansas.

He brings over his eccentric mother-in-law, played by South Korean legend Yuh-jung Youn who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, to help look after their children.

The development of the relationship between young David and his grandmother is touching and only adds to Chung’s already intimate storytelling.

Emile Mosseri’s score is delightfully warm, accentuating the honest love the Yi family have for one another.

Those looking for a heartfelt family drama, and a story of togetherness, will surely appreciate Chung’s assured direction in his fourth feature film, solidifying him as a filmmaker to look out for.