Oscar Preview: Minari

Olivia Cevasco

Minari is an incredibly heartfelt story that follows a Korean family that immigrated to the United States in the 1980s in pursuit of the American Dream. The film centers around David, a seven-year-old boy who’s comical in an innocent, childlike way. David is learning how to be American—he drinks Mountain Dew and wears cowboy boots—and his family moves to a trailer home in Arkansas where David’s father starts a farm growing Korean vegetables. The family struggles to find the money and customers to keep living their American dream alive, but they find comfort and new friends in their church community. Ultimately, Minari is a beautiful story of immigration, family, dreams, and faith. 

Minari is in Korean with English subtitles, so at times, it can be a bit hard to follow. Yet not knowing the language makes the audience so much more appreciative of the artistic beauty of the film and the immersive experience into the Korean culture. The film explores the theme of adapting to new cultures, but because it takes place at a relatively simplistic location without a change of setting, at times, Minari felt a little drawn out in the middle. Minari was nominated for six Oscars this year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Score, and I think it could win Best Supporting Actress because Yuh-Jung Youn played David’s grandmother incredibly well and Best Original Screenplay because the story was very emotional and filled with rich dialogue.