This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
demi adejuyigbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
There’s just SO much incredible stuff about this movie that Will Patton’s performance/character feels like it’s never part of the discussion and that’s a shame. He’s just so fucking good. Every scene of his is perfect. The interplay of religion and class and race and immigration in this movie is handled so so so deftly and plays out without feeling like a heavy-handed drama that installs a cruel white character to exist as a synecdoche for all racial conflict. In fact, there’s no racial conflict here. There’s a small moment of ignorance in the middle that is clearly meant to play as childhood ignorance, and that’s it. It would be far too easy to let race stand out as the important factor in this story when it’s immigration that really tells us what each character is going through.
Chung also manages to humanize/justify the way faith plays into their lives without making it pro/anti-faith. I just love love love the divining rod scene at the end! And Patton carrying the cross, and blessing their home. It’s all so fucking lovely. Reminds me of that one Master of None episode. (S2, E3) Both really important pieces of immigrant media to me as a first generation child of religious immigrants. But only one of them (Minari) made me absolutely SOB both times I watched it!!!!! I can’t even think about Alan Kim running to stop his grandma without feeling my heart swell.
It’s something special, man. This movie is just so so special.