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Minari (2021)  

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  1. 1. What'd You Think?

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Watched it last night. This is good. I would be happy if this won Best Pic. Though I liked ToC7 but that is perhaps not Oscar winner type.


A bit spoilery, throughout the film I was worried about family especially kids facing some racist attack, good thing atleast that didn't happen.

Edited by charlie Jatinder
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Finally got the time to sit down and give this a proper-ish review.


Simply put, Minari is a stunning film that finds beauty and grace in every single scene. Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung constructs a stirring, intimate tale of a family working toward realizing the American Dream in 1980s Arkansas, and it somehow manages to feel at once singular and universal. Nothing about the film is showy, yet it arrested my attention from start to finish because of how warm, honest, and endlessly optimistic it is. It is honest about the struggles the parents have in seeing eye-to-eye on how to best pursue a prosperous existence in Arkansas, yet it ultimately affirms the family's shared strength and resolve. It's also so honest and authentic in each and every scene that even some developments that might have seemed melodramatic in lesser films have noticeable and earned impact here. Under Chung's excellent direction, the acting is quietly powerful, as the performers deliver some of the best overall work of any film in 2020 while drawing relatively little attention to what they're doing. The two leads, Steven Yeun and Yeri Han, are terrific in their roles. Yeun, who already has  mightily impressive supporting performances in Burning and Sorry to Bother You under his belt, does a stellar job of walking the line between being admirably ambitious and foolhardy, selling audiences on Jacob's optimism while also embracing the qualities that suggest that his optimism could be somewhat short-sighted. Han is brilliantly expressive as wife and mother Monica, communicating a wealth of meaning through gestures and turns of phrase; she also succeeds in feeling like a pragmatic voice of reason to her husband's flights of fancy. As the young son through whom we experience much of the narrative, Alan Kim gives one of the best child actor performances of recent memory; he feels natural and carries his scenes with ease. The standout, however, is Yuh-jung Youn as the grandmother who comes to live with the family. Youn gets some of the film's biggest laughs, and she's such an engaging presence from her very first scene that it's all too easy to see why she makes such a profound difference for the family over the course of the film. From the very first scene to the last, everything about Minari feels true and moving. Chung is confident enough in his material to allow it to speak for itself with minimal fuss, and the final result is a brilliant film that lingers with the viewer long after it ends. Excluding the recording of Hamilton - which hardly feels fair to use as a point of comparison given its highly questionable nature as a true "film" in the traditional sense - I feel confident saying that Minari is my favorite film of 2020.



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Outside of its stunning ensemble performance, I can't help but to think the direction is a bit weak here. The issue and theme that Minari touch on felt disjointed without holistic impact. The direction is meticulous but somehow just isn't very sharp. Some not-so appropriate cinematography choice.


Overall 7/10. To compare this to The farewell, the farewell largely suffer from the lack of plot to drive the film further but overall emotionally effective. Minari mostly suffer from its overuse of "belief in faith" trope.      

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A lovely little movie full of heart. It's a deeply personal project for Lee Isaac Chung and it shows: a universal tale about a family trying to live the American Dream. David and his family come across as real people that we know. Excellent cinematography and strong acting across the board (Alan Kim is adorable and Yuh-jung Youn is such a warm presence as the grandmother). The ending felt a bit rushed, which is really my only complaint, but overall, this was terrific. A-

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