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America as a land of promise, a land of hardship or a land of fun? All three perspectives are seen from the drama of “Minari,” a Korean family of Lee Isaac Chung, who moves to Arkansas to build new life in the United States. It has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
The sequence observes the Yi family (played by Steven Yun, Yari Han, Noel Kate Cho and Alan Kim) who arrive at a trailer in the middle of their new home, a field. Yun’s character, Jacob, is proud and optimistic, while Han’s Monica is skeptical.
In an interview, Chung stated that this scene was on his mind when he first started writing the screenplay and that the story would grow from there, a kind of hopeful emptiness that would fill in.
“That’s why it starts at a house where it’s not really furnished,” he said. “There are no stairs either.”
Chung then explores the perspectives of various members of the family through shots and dialogue or lack thereof. Jacob is the first character we see getting out of a vehicle. “I’ve filmed that man wants to arouse the feeling of getting off his horse,” Chung said. Then in directing Han, she tells him that her performance will often be one of responses rather than words. “Everything he has to tell has to be from his appearance, his expressions, his expressions.” And with the children, he told them to “go out and have fun.” He tried to capture his performance in a documentary style to make the film feel more free-form and less staged.
read the “Minari” Review.
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