When Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year, it joined a prestigious list of fellow double winners that includes Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station,” Damian Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” and Lee Daniels’ “Precious.” These three films all turned their Sundance wins into Oscar buzz, with “Whiplash” and “Precious” becoming multi-Academy Award nominees and Best Picture hopefuls.
Will “Minari” become a similar awards sensation? Here’s hoping. While the film remains undated by A24, the studio has confirmed it will open before the end of February 2021 and thus be eligible for the 2021 Oscars.
The official “Minari” synopsis from A24 reads: “A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, ‘Minari’ follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, ‘Minari’ shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.”
“Minari” stars “Walking Dead” breakout Steven Yeun in his next big film role following rave reviews for his work in “Burning,” which won him Best Supporting Actor honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The cast also features Han Ye-ri, Youn Yuh-jung, Will Patton, Alan Kim, and Noel Kate Cho.
In his A review out of Sundance, IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehlrich praised “Minari” as “an immensely moving immigrant story,” adding, “Lee Isaac Chung’s fourth feature is a gentle, sweet, and yet staggeringly powerful story of assimilating into the American Dream. … Told with the rugged tenderness of a Flannery O’Connor novel but aptly named for a resilient Korean herb that can grow wherever it’s planted, it’s a raw and vividly remembered story of two simultaneous assimilations; it’s the story of a family assimilating into a country, but also the story of a man assimilating into his family.”
In addition to A24, “Minari” also boasts producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner of Plan B Entertainment. A24 and Plan B found great success with Best Picture winner “Moonlight.” A24 will announce the official release date for “Minari” at a future date. Watch the official trailer for the drama in the video below.