Review in Brief: Minari (2020)

There’s no debate, MINARI is an American film – what could be more American than a tale of a family buying a farm and dreaming of living off the land? It’s astounding that the film features two of the first Korean (and the first lead of East Asian descent) acting nominations in the history of the Oscars with Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung, and there’s no weak link in this effortlessly grounded ensemble. The way the beautiful arable imagery is captured reinforces the romance of the American Dream just as what this family has to go through almost completely shatters it. The observational family domestic scenes gently enthral, the themes are universal and the wider socio-political context packs a punch. About the only thing that doesn’t seem completely necessary is the added jeopardy of the finale, though director Lee Isaac Chung waiting to go out with a bang with his story is understandable. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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