Minari / Another Round / Nomadland – Capsule Reviews
Minari (2020) is a heart-warming story of Korean-American family, a semi-autobiographical written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung. The film sets in the 1980s, following a South Korean immigrant family, relocate from California to Arkansas farm. Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun) wants of Farm Korean vegetables in America’s best soil. He buys a fifty-acre plot to achieve his American dream and wants to make his family proud. While Monica Yi (Han Ye-ri), a caring mother, is unsure of the idea and not happy to live in a trailer home wants to move back to California to have a happy life with stable income. David (Alan S. Kim) seven years old son, Anne (Noel Kate Cho) twelve years old daughter tries to fit in their new life. Soonja (Youn Yuh-jung), a loving grandmother sometimes foul-mouthed, meets her grandchildren for the first time when she arrives in Arkansas to help Monica.
Minari is a poetic film about family, the truthful tale with the different nuanced theme that rarely executed well in modern cinemas. The subtle characters, pleasant interactions are very well written. The smooth flowing of the screenplay and authentic direction by Lee Isaac Chunga gives the audience heart-warming and emotional experience. Heartfelt imagery gorgeously photographed by Lachlan Milne. Heart-warming Music of Minari soothes the heart and breaks depending on the scene without overcooking or under just the right amount given life to the movie.
Steven Yeun, who gave an extraordinary performance in Burning (2018), delivered another career-defining role with Minari in the Jacob character. The chemistry between Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri never felt like they were acting. The arguments, emotional and intense scenes between them felt so natural; both did a phenomenal job. The charming dynamic between Youn Yuh-Jung and Alan is so endearing. The growing bond from childish fights to a loving relationship with grandmother, gorgeously portrayed by Alan. Youn, not only is she astonishing in her role, but she is also genuinely amazing in real life. I laughed and learned a lot by seeing many interviews; her sense of humour is outstanding. I am rooting for her to win many awards.
Conclusion: Minari (2020) is a rare everlasting, delightful tale of family, that beats every film of 2020 in all categories. Warm direction, poetic screenplay, natural acting, colourful music, stunning photography make Minari a heartwarming movie of the year. my rating 8/10
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Cast: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Youn Yuh-jung
Another Round (2020) A Beautiful Ride With A Reawakening Message.
After the academy nominated film, The Hunt (2012), once again director Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mad Mikkelson collaborated and brewed the year’s best film. Another round (2020) is a Danish film – joyride to life/alcohol. Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) a middle-aged high school teacher. He feels worn-out and distracted from life; not much exciting, joyful happens in his life. His students complain about their grades. His professional life and private life also turn blue; Martin barely sees his wife, who is a nurse, works the night shift. Martin’s three friends, also teachers, feel the same way about their life. All struggle with unmotivated students, and their lives have become dull.
All four want to test the theory by psychiatrist Finn Skarderud that having a daily blood alcohol content of 0.050 makes a person more creative, confident, and relaxed. They maintain constant alcohol content in blood during the working days. As a result, all four find their professional work more pleasurable and begin to feel alive. Also, Martin manages to reconnect with his wife. Will staying drunk will fix his problems, or will their lives turn upside down?
Conclusion: I don’t drink but watching Another round (2020) makes me so high. It’s like drinking wine; the film somehow vividly displays a broad view of life and alcoholism in a subtle and lively. With another round, the audience got to see soft side Mads Mikkelsen and his top-notch dancing skills in ending the song; what a life! Which brings the unforgettable ending of 2020. Another round is a celebration of life, friendship, and love—a beautiful ride with a reawakening message. my rating 8/10.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Nomadland (2020) Zhao and Frances Delivered A Transporting Experience.
Nomadland (2020) is a journey of self-discovering. We (concrete Habitat) may not fully understand nomads’ state of mind (People without fixed residence move one place to another all the time). Still, the film pulls into their lifestyle with the naturalistic performance by Frances McDormand and minimalistic direction from Chloe Zhao. Nomadland (2020) is the story of Fern, a 60 -year-old woman, who has lost her husband and lost her job after the US gypsum mine shut down. Now she is houseless (not homeless). She embarks on the journey from city to city in her RV, doing seasonal jobs and meeting diverse people along the way. With her journey, Fern is able to learn what she is at her core of the heart.
Director Chloe Zhao compellingly introduces the audience to nomads’ lifestyle using Fern’s character, without any preaching or persuasion or any philosophical message. It’s a movie about nothing to everything, depending on how hard it will hit you. Indeed, it will not be a regular road movie you will see. Zhao shows more images than words, which blends perfectly with character and plot. She also co-wrote and edited her third, Nomadland film. Casting non-actors, who are nomads, wanderers in real life, delivered a genuine tone to a self-discovery journey for most side roles. Occasionally, it misfires. Gorgeous landscapes, observing cinematography, added with soothing piano music will immerse more into the movie.
Conclusion: The collaboration between Zhao and Frances delivered a transporting experience. my rating 7.5/10.
Director: Chloe Zhao
Cast: Frances McDormand, Gay DeForest, Patricia Grier
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