Thursday, February 18, 2021


A Korean family moves from California to Arkansas in the 1980s to pursue the American dream in Minari.  Family head Steven Yeun hopes to grow Korean vegetables and sell to the emerging Korean food and spice vendors in nearby cities.  Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung bases the story on his own rural Arkansas childhood, an immigrant Korean in the rural south of the 1980s.  With their marriage floundering, the mother played by Yeri Han brings her mother to live with the family.  Viewers have focused on the performance of Yuh-Jung Youn as an eccentric Korean grandmother who almost dooms and ultimately saves the family.  Minari has the ring of truth especially in encounters with the locals, many of whom befriend and help the newcomers.  Will Patton comes through as a fundamentalist farmhand turned friend and supporter.  Mostly in Korean with some English, Minari tells a universal story worth your attention.