A24 never disappoints. The legendary indie company (which was behind the likes of Moonlight, Ex Machina, Room, and Hereditary) has produced another vibrant film. To be fair, Minari will not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is slow. It is gentle. It isn’t entertaining either. But make no mistake: this film is high art. It is a nuanced work that pans out quietly, yet methodically. Minari is unequivocally a film about the so-called “American Dream”—although the way it frames this ideal will turn heads. Still, it isn’t a mere playground for socioeconomic commentary. It is much more than just a film about ideas, for it overflows with intangibles. It has charm. It has warmth. It has a lush sense of naturalism that is as striking as it is subtle, combining beautiful shots of sylvan landscapes with a creative soundtrack that heightens the film’s emotional nuances. In a way, Minari operates on a neat little current of the ideas at play in Terrence Malick’s films. Or, to invoke a musical comparison, Minari is the cinematic equivalent of a brilliant ambient album. Brian Eno’s 1975 masterpiece Another Green World comes to mind. However, this does not mean that Minari dwells in the antiquated days of the past. It is a refreshingly modern reminder that films do not have to be elaborate or even gratifying to conjure a refined experience. I can’t call it one of my favorite films of the year—that subjective little honor goes to Tenet and Soul—but I do hope that Minari collects several Oscars on April 25th.
Thanks for sharing!
Well-written review. Agree regarding A24. I liked Minari, but not as much as you did. There was something about Grandmother that didn’t quite sit with me. And I thought the ending was a little overwrought. But that’s me looking for reasons not to give it a 10.
Well said! Also, I’ve slightly adjusted my standards in terms of what scores I assign to a given work (used to give an average of 8-ish but now the average is 7.5-ish) and thus have bumped my Minari rating down to 7.5—appreciate the reminder in that regard!