Owen’s review published on Letterboxd:
Lee Isaac Chung's Minari is an indescribably special film. That is something that's evident right from its opening moments, but I really don't think I can express how this is unlike any film you will see all year. Stunning in its exploration of the life of a Korean family who have recently moved to the Midwest, Minari delivers an exhibition of sprawling emotion conveyed through Chung's gorgeous storytelling. Chung is able to interweave multiple tender, personal stories within a grander narrative, tracing a heartfelt odyssey of family, culture, religion, occupation, and identity, and traversing generational confines to ensure that the viewer is able to feel grounded in the sensitive reality presented in each part of life, whether that be child, parent, or grandparent.
These categories of life experience are executed to perfection by the cast; Steven Yeun is deservedly getting buzz for his phenomenal performance, but the rest of the cast is equally deserving of recognition, especially Alan Kim, who delivers one of the finest child performances I've ever seen. Lachlan Milne's cinematography is sweepingly mesmerizing and Emile Mosseri follows up his beautiful score for The Last Black Man In San Francisco with another achingly powerful and stunning work of music composition.
It's very hard to describe Minari's emotional depth and the resonance Chung employs in the story, but I was moved to tears on three separate occasions. His vision is strikingly immaculate. It's very rare that a film is able to balance tones so well, but Minari strikes that delicate balance between heartwarming and heartbreaking perfectly. Simply one of the greatest films of the year and another modern classic from A24 among the ranks of Moonlight and Lady Bird. I can't wait for everybody to see this masterpiece!