USA in the 1980s: Jacob (Steven Yeun) moves his family from California to Arkansas. On the one hand, because the clocks tick even more slowly here and his wife is fast enough to separate the male from the female chicks in a chicken farm, while she was too slow in California. On the other hand, because he dreams of his own land that he wants to work on. He wants to plant things here that Koreans need for their traditional cuisine.
Originally from South Korea, the family tries to adjust to their new life, but Jacob’s wife is ashamed of the house. The grandmother is brought from South Korea and the family tries to get involved in the community, but this new life is not easy.
This is a very sensitive film, the emotional core of which is actually the grandmother played by Youn Yuh-jung, because it is she who touches and changes everyone in this family. The old lady plays brilliantly, especially with David, played by Alan S. Kim. The grandmother-grandchildren relationship is strained but also deeply amusing. The South Korean actress is so good that an Oscar recognition – even if it’s just a nomination – is actually a must.
This film is basically very unspectacular, but tells about real life and offers a glimpse of what it is like as an immigrant to try to create a better life for your own family and yourself. This happens with heart, wit, mind and a feeling that only arises from great cinema magic.
The drama MINARI is a beautiful, deeply human film that is very real when it comes to the portrayal of its characters and remains unpredictable for the viewer – because real life is not always predictable and plans tend to derail. But the dream of a better life remains.