Minari ★★★★½

an absolute joy! this film radiates such a positive and glowing energy that it made me feel every emotion at once for the entire runtime. while it is primarily about the american immigrant experience, it not only focuses on the resilience of the immigrants, but the resilience of family. this is shown through its titular image, the korean herb minari: a herb that is able to thrive wherever it is planted. 

each cast member delivers outstanding performances, making this one of the best cast ensembles of the year. my biggest takeaway is the bond between david and soonja. the score of the film is a feature in itself, adding its own feeling to the story that could not be expressed in a screenplay alone. the script is very well-written, combining raw emotion with a lot of humor and heart. even simple moments, such as going for walks outside, are paired with endearing dialogues that establish clear relationships and trust between the major characters. you really feel affection and great empathy for these characters in a way that genuinely transcends cultural lines. 

while offering an engaging view of the immigrant experience, it also identifies the hardships that come alongside. it’s cultural universality will definitely impact viewers around the world and endear them to these characters. as a poignant yet original piece of art that can simultaneously charm and inform viewers, this is definitely my favourite of the festival and one of the best movies of the year.

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