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Moral of the Movie - Review

Minari (2021)

Academy Awards Special Edition

Drama, Directed by Lee Isaac Chung | Rating: Marriage Material | Published: Sept. 2, 2022, 12:15 p.m.


In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad times, through all of it, family will always be there for you. Family is meant to represent the support that you can lean back on even if you haven’t been the best version of yourself. Family is about sacrifice and strength when times are toughest. It doesn’t matter whether you come from a Korean immigrant family moving to Arkansas for the first time or not, this film will be incredibly relatable and familiar as it represents the best of what we’ve come to know about the idea of family and loved ones.


This film is for just about anyone who appreciates family values and has a deep investment into what it means to be a family. If you have enjoyed family dramas such as Marriage Story (2019) and The Farewell (2019), then you will surely get the most out of the emotional family journey that is Minari (2021).


“Wonderful, wonderful Minari” indeed. Immediately out of the gate, I have to say that this film has evoked so many raw emotions out of me unlike anything I have seen this year. The closest I can think of is Soul (2020), which I saw late last year, but I would definitely say that Minari (2021) got the better of me. I don’t often cry or tear up when watching films even though I am always fully immersed into the world that the film presents to me. Nevertheless, there were straight-up tears running down my face once this film had reached its climax. I have to give so much credit to a film that does that to me because it means that I was deeply invested into the world and the characters that I was watching. This film is an incredibly powerful portrayal of what it means to be a family. There are so many moments in this film that symbolize deeply rooted family values that I hold dear such as the sacrifices of a parent for their children and the unconditional love that family is meant to represent. While the story is of an immigrant family in the foreign lands of Arkansas mostly speaking the foreign language of Korean, everything about this film is entirely relatable and familiar for those of us who have a profound sense of family values. At its heart, the film is supremely endearing while also quite tragic. Yet, the love for family always overcomes and it shows that this film was love letter to the idea of a family by all of those who helped make it. The depicted family is not perfect. Not by a long shot. However, this film let me see perfection through the imperfections. By the end of the film, I was completely in love with this family because they represent the best of all of us: that despite our flaws, at the end of the day, we’d do anything and everything for those we love the most. I wouldn’t be able to finish this review without at least mentioning the powerful performances from each and every one of the main actors in this film, especially Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung. Both are well-deservedly nominated for Oscars with Steven Yeun for Best Actor and Youn Yuh-jung for Best Supporting Actress. Yet, Alan S. Kim as David is one of the stand-out performances of the film as well. The film is also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Director, and Best Picture. Every component of this film adds up to an entirely beautiful depiction of family through hardship and struggle. Overall, the film is as powerful as any film you’ll see this year and definitely worth the $19.99 to rent and watch as soon as possible. While I don’t know that it would win Best Picture, I would definitely pick it as such if I were the Academy.

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