Minari

Minari ★★★

The family that drinks Mountain Dew together, stays together. Tearing up now imagining this immigrant family living and prospering in America in the present day and being able to avail themselves of flavors like Baja Blast or Code Red.

A very funny, understated family drama that comes by its humanism and beauty in a way I found a little bit more earned or lightly worn than Nomadland, which does make for an interesting and good double feature about people trying to get by in America.

I really liked how the movie starts out being about the parents and then becomes way more about the kids and grandmother, with the generation that forms the bridge between Korea and America receding into the background, before coming back into focus towards the end. It gives a real sense of a story following this family naturally and not vice versa. Huge credit to the director for spending so much time with an unbelievably cute and funny kid without ever being cloying, precocious or annoying in the slightest. Also, believe the hype, the grandmother absolutely steals this movie and if the Academy gives a lifetime achievement award to Glenn Close for the wretched Hillbilly Elegy (the moral and artistic polar opposite of this movie in nearly every way) over Yuh-Jung Youn, I will probably go on a hunger strike.

Always a joy to see Will Patton in a movie, he's great here as the family's "a little too touched by Jesus" neighbor.