A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
For in-depth thoughts on Minari, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here.
You can also hear more in-depth thoughts from myself and my wife/colleague Jessica Gonzales on our podcast Homedance Film Festival here.
Minari comes to Blu-Ray in an AVC encoded transfer in 2.39:1 courtesy of Lionsgate featuring stunning cinematography from Lachlan Milne. This presentation is quite gorgeous and offers a stable image quality throughout. The visual majesty of the film translates well on disc with most shots looking stable and breathtaking. Milne captures some awe-inspiring landscapes that really pop in high definition. Not only do the textural details render cleanly, but the lush greenery leaps off the screen while other earth tones in the creek and factory render naturally. There is no evidence of compression artifacts or other digital nuisances outside a very minor bit in the darkest sections of the factory. Skin tones look natural throughout the runtime. I do not see how this disc could have been improved significantly without a 4K UHD Blu-Ray disc. It’s a real beauty as is.
The Blu-Ray disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in its original mixture of Korean and English that conjures a very specific mood that transports you to this area of the country. This is a very subdued film, but the track does come alive with the environmental sounds. The wonderful score from Emile Mosseri is showcased beautifully here with a gently enveloping use of the surround speakers. The dialogue comes through crystal clear without ever being overpowered by the environmental effects or the score. The sound design is just as precisely thought-out as the on screen visuals with all of the sounds positioned just right in the mix. The environmental effects create a really nice soundscape of brisk wind and noises from the various insects. This is not an action-heavy film so the activity in the low end is very sparse, but one particular sequence involving a fire is given extra texture this way. This is a lovely sounding release that brings the movie to life in a really gorgeous way.
- Audio Commentary: Writer-Director Lee Isaac Chung and Actress Yuh-jung Youn provide a lovely commentary track for the film in which Chung recounts stories about how the film compares to his childhood experiences and the realities of shooting. Youn is as spirited as she is in the film as she recounts her experience with the film while asking Chung incisive questions about the production of the film. The two have a slightly stilted rapport at first, but they soon get into a groove that makes this one a very worthwhile listen for fans of the film.
- Sowing Seeds – Making Minari: A 13-minute featurette in which the cast and crew discuss their experience with the film from putting personal experiences into the script and performances, getting the film into production, the masterclass in acting that Yuh-jung Youn put forth, the traits that each performer brought to their characters, telling an authentic story and more.
- Deleted Scenes: Three minutes of unused material from the film is provided here including a scene of Jacob showing the kids chicken sexing techniques and Paul coming over to dinner and imparting some wisdom to David.
Minari is a singularly American tale that is told through a specific point of view that we get all too rarely. This story from Lee Isaac Chung is deeply personal, yet universal in its exploration of trying to achieve the American dream. The performances from each and every cast member is pitch perfect in bringing this wonderful family to the screen. Lionsgate Home Entertainment has provided a Blu-Ray for this film that sports a stunning A/V presentation along with some really great special features. I cannot recommend this beautiful movie enough. Highly Recommended
Minari will be available to purchase on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital on May 18, 2021
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Lionsgate Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.