Polygon’s home entertainment group is on the ground at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, bringing you first takes a look at what are sure to be some of the year’s finest blockbuster-alternative offerings. Here’s what you need to understand before these indie movies make their method to theaters, streaming services, and the cinematic zeitgeist.
Logline: In the 1980 s, a Korean male transfers his family from California to Arkansas, determined to discover success, no matter the cost.
Everybody in the family is on a different wavelength, and their love for one another only goes so far towards mitigating their difficulties.
The family’s obstacle is truly Jacob, who’s willing to misuse anything– including the land’s natural water supply– to grow crops and get a successful farm off the ground. For Monica, it might all be passable if he could be a father to his kids, especially David, who’s lashing out like any silly 7-year-old with too much totally free time.
The household ultimately flies in Granny Soonja (Yuh-Jung Youn) to watch David, who may just be as stubborn as his daddy. But all of Jacob’s short-lived solutions are satisfied by more issues. The well water runs dry. The physically demanding days deteriorate his work at the chicken hatchery. Medical emergency situations dent a currently precious fund. The pastoral charm of Arkansas can’t salve the household’s hemorrhaging checking account, or a marriage that’s falling apart.
The quote that states everything: ” Even if I fail, I have to finish what I started.”
Minari, produced by A24, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Home entertainment, and Yeun himself, throws back to a type of thoughtful family drama that’s nearly extinct from contemporary movie-going. Sundance’s own description compares this latest function from Lee Isaac Chung ( Abigail Damage) to the subtle household dramas of Japanese legend Yasujirō Ozu, though John Irving novels might be simply as appropriate.
There’s another variation of this story, perhaps a more Hollywood one, where the Yis swim upstream against a culture that doesn’t understand them. But in Minari, heritage is a structure, and human impulse is the challenge to overcome. When David visits his church friend’s home, he becomes aware of the male who used to survive on his father’s plot of land. The man eliminated himself after stopping working to grow crops and losing everything. The Yis are outsiders in the Deep South, however in Chung’s delicate portrait, they’re just another family holding themselves together. Anyone should see themselves in this journey.
While the movie may be a hair too sentimental, Minari swells with life-affirming observations and deep efficiencies. His granny, in a riotous turn by Yuh-Jung, does not put up with any of the bad habits, pushing David to be a participant in his own life.
Then there’s Steven Yeun, on a streak after 2018’s Burning
The ticking clock of the household’s funds is an ominous danger, however hardly ever a melodramatic one. There’s time to follow David and Grandmother as they walk through the forests and soak up nature.
When can we see it? Though A24 owns circulation rights for Minari, there’s no word on whether the movie will debut theatrically or premiere on streaming by means of one the business’s material deals, however reporting suggests it’ll strike theaters later this year.