Minari ★★★★½

Minari showcases why A24 is always the best at creating/choosing to release stories that don’t always feature the basics in terms of filmmaking. This is the pure definition of a slice-of-life film that doesn’t exactly follow the traditional structure of a typical Hollywood film. And seeing how i have been an admirer of these types of films/stories for a long time, this was a film that sounded like something right up my alley. Sure enough, it turned out to be a beautifully told story that features some of the best acting of the year.

Steven Yeun, Alan Kim, and Han Ye-Ri give excellent performances that manage to match the down-to-earth tone of the story of this film. However, my MVP in terms of acting from this entire cast is Youn Yung-jun as the Grandma. It’s a type of performance that reminded me a lot of Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell in that she gives a very authentic portrayal of a grandmother, and one that also serves as the heart of the film in a masterful manner. Not once did i feel like i was watching actors on-screen throughout the runtime. It truly feels like i’m watching life unfold right in front of me. Part of this is also due to the amazing directing and writing from Lee Isaac Chung.

Please let me know if there’s anything else this guy has worked on because he makes for a strong filmmaker and storyteller at the same time, and his ability to create an authentic portrayal of life through his excellent writing and direction make for a director whose name will become a new favorite of mine.

The editing, cinematography, sound design and score also work wonders in this film by being well-crafted and amplifying the emotion, tone, and mood that is brought to every single scene of this film. The editing, in particular, made for a film with pitch-perfect pacing by having each scene serving a purpose to the story and characters despite the film’s unconventional story structure.

Needless to say, Minari is a film that not only showcases powerful storytelling, but also makes for one of the most well-crafted films of 2020. Really hope it gets more awards buzz and overall attention from audiences pretty soon.