Part of Oscar Picks.
Winner: Actress in a Supporting Role (Yuh-Jung Youn)
Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Music, Writing (Original Screenplay)
It’s the 1980s, and David, a seven-year-old Korean American boy, is faced with new surroundings and a different way of life when his father Jacob moves their family from the West Coast to rural Arkansas. His mother Monica is aghast that they live in a mobile home in the middle of nowhere, and naughty little David and his sister are bored and aimless. When his equally mischievous grandmother arrives from Korea to live with them, her unfamiliar ways arouse David’s curiosity. Meanwhile, Jacob — hell-bent on creating a farm on untapped soil — throws their finances, his marriage, and the stability of the family into jeopardy.
Inspired by his own upbringing, writer-director Lee Isaac Chung creates a gorgeous, delicate American Dream story by infusing it with Korean melodrama and the playful charm of a Yasujiro Ozu film, as the Yi family embraces their highs and endures their lows. Each character is drawn with loving authenticity and depth, while Steven Yeun shines as Jacob, a man determined to achieve his dreams at all costs. (Synopsis from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival)
“It was important to humanize our existence, and our parents’ existence. I see Jacob’s journey as representing a bigger understanding of some lessons...We’re in a pandemic, and who are the people upholding society? It's the gap people, the people caught in between, immigrants, minorities, women.” —Actor Steven Yeun discussing his character ‘Jacob’ in an interview with Cathy Park Hong for A24 “[Actor Steven] Yeun delivers another thoughtful performance in this effortlessly poetic tale of redefinition and resilience…. Count MINARI among the very best movies of 2020 already, for all its endearing cheekiness and affecting virtues, the greatest among them being honoring human resilience.” —Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap “The film is deceptively gentle, but that only makes its final crescendo more devastating…. Its vision of home is ultimately not about belonging to a plot of land or a particular community, but about what it means to belong to one another.” —Alison Willmore, Vulture “A raw and vividly remembered story of two simultaneous assimilations; it’s the story of a family assimilating into a country, but also the story of a man assimilating into his family.” —David Ehrlich, IndieWire