“Minari” highlights success in Korea’s film industry

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Directed by Lee Issac Chung, “Minari” portrays a Korean American family pursuing their American Dream on a farm in Arkansas. Like the six-time Academy-nominated Korean film “Parasite,” “Minari,” within one month, also received the same number of nominations. Ever since its release, “Minari” has grown popular not only in Korea but also widely in the United States and other countries. As of April, the film has generated over 11 million USD in revenue.

“Similar to Bong Joon-Ho’s win in the Oscars for his movie ‘Parasite,’ Issac Lee Chung has made remarkable achievements, winning nominations in the Oscars as well as receiving the Golden Globes,” Anika Kurebayashi (9), a viewer of “Minari,” said. “I appreciate people like Lee Chung as he was able to represent struggles of Korean-American families and was able to make it a captivating topic that grabbed the attention of the mainstream media.” 

On Apr. 26, actress Youn Yuh-Jung won best supporting actress at the Oscars, making history in the Korean film industry by becoming the first South Korean and first Asian actress to win the award. Meanwhile, Steven Yeun, another leading actor of “Minari,” was nominated as the first Asian-American for best actor in the Academy Awards. Following Yeun, Korean-American film producer Christina Oh and American composer Emile Mosseri received nominations for best picture and best original score, respectfully. At the same time, Lee Issac Chung has also received his academy nomination for best director and best original screenplay. 

“I think ‘Minari’ faces a tough challenge for the best picture Oscar as Nomadland is the favorite and has been winning lots of ‘best picture’ awards up to this point,” Tim Gardes, high school librarian who watched “Minari,” said. “That said, I think ‘Minari’ has an excellent chance to win an Oscar in another category including best-supporting actress and best director. In the end, I don’t think ‘Minari’ will go home empty-handed.” In the end, Nomadland did win the award.

“Minari” has also recently won another award under Golden Globes’ best foreign-language category. However, the Golden Globes’ categorization of the film as “foreign-language” sparked controversy as the film was originally filmed in Oklahoma, not in Korea. Even though American production companies, Plan B and A24, financed the movie, Golden Globes has not switched its category title, sparking oppositions by Korean-American actors, such as Daniel Dae Kim.  

“Even though ‘Minari’ is indeed a strong candidate to win the Oscars, I believe the film’s plot does not have as much suspense as ‘Parasite’ does,” Fabian Roh (10), viewer of “Minari,” said. “However, I thinkMinari’ still has a touching plot that would continue to earn more respect internationally.”