“Minari,” which scored six Oscar nominations Monday, breaks new ground in its portrayal of a Korean family pursuing the American dream.
Here’s a closer look at the making of the movie and the people who helped shape it.
The historic Oscar nominations
Steven Yeun made history Monday with his Oscar nomination for his performance as Jacob, a Korean father who moves his family to a rural Arkansas farm during the 1980s. Yeun becomes the first Asian American to be nominated in the lead actor category.
In the directing category, the academy nominated the most filmmakers of Asian descent (Chloé Zhao of “Nomadland” and Lee Isaac Chung of “Minari,” both also nominated for their screenplays). Yeun’s costar Yuh-Jung Youn is also among the nominees for supporting actress.
Why it matters
“I don’t think a movie like ‘Minari’ has been made before in this context from this country in this situation, so initially I did feel some pressure to service some larger idea of what a Korean father was, because that archetype looms large,” star Yeun told The Times.
“It took me a while to come around to just accept Jacob as simply a human being. But I realized how few examples we have of that. We’re still navigating a business and a career and an art form that doesn’t really have a lot of Asian Americans in it.”
Many have asked how Lee Isaac Chung got the idea to write “Minari.” At the risk of sounding like a mystic or a fool, he set the record straight in a first-person piece for The Times.
Chung’s moving immigrant drama is a gentle, truthful and tender story of family, writes The Times’ Glenn Whipp.
In addition to its Oscar nominations, “Minari” also won the Golden Globe for foreign-language film. Yes, it’s American. In case you missed it, catch up on that controversial categorization, as well as our investigation into the voters behind the Golden Globe Awards.
One thing is clear. Kim’s reactions are the best part of this awards season so far.