Minari paints a moving, vivid portrait of rural Korean Americana

Inspired by writer-director Lee Isaac Chung’s own childhood, Minari is the portrait of a Korean American family struggling to succeed in rural Reagan-era Arkansas. Starring Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri as Jacob and Monica, young Korean immigrants who have moved east from California to fulfill his dream of growing and selling Korean vegetables, the story is full of pathos, humor, and the quiet moments of life. Alan Kim is wonderful as their son David, small and weak but full of stubborn spirit—and a deep resentment of his grandmother Soon-ja (Yoon Yeo-jung), who has suddenly appeared in their lives and invaded his small bedroom.

As Jacob works himself ragged trying to make the farm yield a living for them, Monica tries to keep the family from falling apart, and David and his sister Anne (Noel Kate Cho) encounter the rural wildlife, human and otherwise, the film works its way under and inside your heart like something close and precious.

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