Minari: Oscar favourite sees Korean family chase the American Dream

South Korea’s Parasite, last year’s Oscar winner, dented assumptions that English-speaking audiences are wary of any film with subtitles. Now another Korean-language film is making waves, and there’s buzz about its chances in April’s Academy Awards.

Minari is set in rural America, and is Lee Isaac Chung’s fourth feature film. He’s tried to capture on screen the lives of South Koreans in the US.

Minari has had excellent reviews since opening last year at the Sundance festival. It’s a warm story of the Yi family moving in the 1980s from California to Arkansas.

The father, Jacob, plans a better living for his wife and two young children farming Korean vegetables and selling them to wholesalers and restaurants. His wife Monica is less convinced and eventually they bring her eccentric mother over from South Korea to help look after the farm and the children.

It’s an engaging and at times moving blend of family drama and comedy.

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