Thanks to Saint Maud, I’m already high of an potential A24 grind and next on my list is the film that recently won Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes: “Minari”. Don’t know exactly why I delayed seeing this for as long as I did but as typical A24 goes, they’re making me see why I’m such a fool to keep doubting their artistic prowess. This is a beautifully shot, deftly crafted, emotionally layered drama about everyday life, and remembering to see the gifts of what’s right in front of you.
As a semi-autobiography for Lee Issac Chung, it’s an immigrant story through and through, splicing up the traditional story about the American Dream as the backdrop for the bittersweet promise and the struggle it upholds for growth and nourishment; similar to First Cow, it’s a tender account on the limits of paradise and the strength to carry on. Each of the cast members deliver piercing hot, touching, authentic performances with amazing deliveries with prodigious but endearing dialogue exchanges and a stylized musical score that mixes eastern and western features together seamlessly. With the lively cinematography, there wasn’t a single time I was bored, Lee Issac Chung’s direction unearths a simplistic narrative with a lot of weight that adapts just as well as the likable yet complex and multi-dimensional characters, A24’s traditional slow burn pacing pays off once again and how can I not make notice of how this film takes both the vast landscape and beautiful iconography of rural America and venture beyond the different diverse variants of its own production design? Lee knew the kind of story he wanted to make but wasn’t afraid to work his way around whatever complications arisen in order to get it across. It brings to light a statement I was forced to come to terms with rather late: perfection doesn’t exist.
It’s a poignant tribute to the immigrant experience that can simultaneously charm and inform viewers about the resilience of family as much as the individual; adding yet another gold mine to A24’s luxurious resume. Just like most of their films, it ain’t for everyone but for those who have the patience, I highly recommend it.