Chung, who also wrote the script inspired by his own childhood, tells the story of a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny farm in Arkansas in search of better opportunities.
Split between the Korean and English language, the trailer highlights and emphasizes the beautiful ensemble of actors that Chung assembles. The cast, which includes Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Yuh-Jung Youn and Will Patton, is one of the year’s finest. A possible contender for the SAG cast ensemble prize, the A24 film started its run from Park City, Utah very strong.
Variety‘s Peter Debruge gave “Minari” high praise back in January saying, “As written — but even more importantly, as performed by an all-around terrific ensemble — the characters are easy to admire, and even easier to love. So, raise a glass of Mountain Dew to Chung’s achievement, and run, don’t walk, to ‘Minari.'”
A24 has not dated the film yet but has plans to release it prior to the Academy Awards’ Feb. 28, 2021 eligibility deadline. The studio, which won the best picture statuette for 2016’s “Moonlight,” is committed to mounting an awards campaign put in the running for several key categories including best picture, director, original screenplay, and best actor for Steven Yeun.
Asian representation in the acting categories at the Academy Awards has been grotesque, to put it mildly. Earlier this year, Neon’s “Parasite” made history by becoming the first foreign language best picture winner. Despite the strong showing, none of the film’s cast members received acting nominations. It was the same case with 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” which encompassed a largely Indian cast. To date, there have been only four actors of Asian descent to win Academy Awards (Yul Brynner for “The King and I” and Ben Kingsley for “Gandhi” in best actor, Haing S. Ngor for “The Killing Fields” in supporting actor and Miyoshi Umeki for “Sayonara” in supporting actress).
While Yeun will contend for a best actor spot, equal consideration should be given to Yeri Han as the remarkable Martha in best actress and Yuh-Jung Youn as the scene-stealing grandmother Soon-ja in supporting actress. A possible surprise that could begin to pick up steam is the performance of Will Patton, a veteran actor who’s worked for nearly four decades. Patton is very moving as Paul, an eccentric helping hand for the family.
The film is produced by Oscar-winners Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Christine Oh. Some of the technical team includes composer Emile Mosseri, cinematographer Lachlan Milne and editor Harry Yoon.
Check out the trailer and the new poster.
The film will screen at the upcoming Hamptons and Middleburg Film Festivals.