7.5/10 An intimate look at a Korean family’s struggle to make it in 1980s America with all of the challenges they face, “Minari” is an authentic, heart felt look at the American dream and the struggles that an immigrant family grapples with. You can tell quickly that writer/director Lee Isaac Chung made a largely auto-biographical film and one in which he poured his heart and soul into. We know that America lovingly accepts millions of immigrants each year but we largely don’t think of what happens to many of these immigrants once they’ve made it to America. The journey here can be such a struggle that we may mistakenly think life suddenly becomes easy once they have “made it”. We don’t stop to think about the problems involving finding work, achieving success, health issues, marital troubles and every other kind of issue that people face. “Minari” gives us a personal, close up look at all of these elements with a strong, emotional script to back it all up. Although the acting is strong across the board, it was two of the women, Oscar winning Yuh-jung Youn as Soonja (the grandma) and Yeri Han as Monica (the mother/wife) whose performances stood out the most to me and were extremely moving. Not to discount what Steven Yeun accomplishes as he has to carry the weight of being the head of the household, providing for his family and trying to accomplish his American dream and make his family proud of him but the women stole the spotlight for me. The score was memorable and beautifully subtle while the production and costume designs were simple yet fitting for the modest lifestyle our characters are living out. The importance of family is greatly touched upon and all of the relevant themes are clearly stated. The one glaring problem for me came at the film’s end. While some of the marital issues were touched upon with our main male protagonist’s wife losing faith in him, the film ends without much clarity as to how those issues are resolved, if at all. The subplot just felt unresolved and left me feeling rather empty, which felt out of place since essentially all of the other subplots received closure and were nicely wrapped up. Despite the slightly abrupt ending that left me wanting more, the two hour run time was wonderfully paced as you will care from start to finish as to what happens to each character. There is even some natural humor added in which I really appreciated. We all have our differences like skin color or country of origin but once we stop looking at all of our differences and look to our common struggles and how we can help each other out as human beings, the world will become a better place. Films like “Minari” are a good reminder of this lesson and therefore, a film worth immigrating towards.

#MinariDetails / #TheWalkingDread / #FarmVille2CountryEscapeTheMovie / #GardenOfSeedIn / #DreamOfTheCrop / #OhYiOfLittleFaith

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