Drama | Korean with English subtitles | 115 minutes
In 1983, enterprising Jacob Yi moves with his family from California to a plot of land in rural Arkansas. His plan is to grow Korean produce and sell them to vendors in Dallas. Jacob does not anticipate the tough life ahead. His wife, Monica, is unhappy with the isolation and worries about their son David’s heart condition. They arrange for Monica’s mother, Soon-ja, to travel from South Korea and help care for the children. Soon-ja and David soon get along and Soon-ja shows David how to plant minari (Korean watercress). Jacob and Monica go to Oklahoma City for David’s appointment with the cardiologist. While away, Soon-ja accidentally sets the barn on fire. Jacob and Monica can’t do much but let the barn burn to the ground. A distraught and confused Soon-ja wanders off. David blocks her path and convinces her to return. The family collapses from fatigue. With their marriage unsettled, do Jacob and Monica part ways or do they remain and pursue their dream together?
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 98%
- Metacritic Score: 89
Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Feature Film; Winner, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Youn Yuh-jung)
Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
National Board of Review: Winner, Best Original Screenplay (Lee Isaac Chung); Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung); Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
New York Film Critics Awards: Winner, Best Film
Sundance Film Festival: Winner, U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize
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Every detail is so specific, each scene so uncontrived, and each performance so authentic that it never feels as if someone has made up a story; it feels as if they are sharing vivid anecdotes from an upbringing that was rich enough to be put on screen without embellishment.
MINARI is a simple but sublimely intimate tale which amused and touched me a lot. A truly exceptional film.
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