“Minari” Trailer Gives Us Everything But a Release Date

Ever since it became one of a handful of movies to win both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival, I've been dying to see Minari. Like many movies to win in both categories, it's a challenging film about the minority experience in America, which has specific differences and sad commonalities. Past double winners included Fruitvale Station and Quinceañera.

This is the fourth film from Lee Isaac Chung, the son of Korean immigrants. Drawing heavily on his childhood, it's the story of a man (the great Steven Yeun) who moves his wife, two children, and mother to rural Arkansas. They have a mobile home, some farmland, and the American Dream, but all of that might disappear if they can't get their crops growing. They'll have to adjust to the climate, the challenging work, and the deeply religious and almost exclusively white community they've adopted.

The film got universally positive reviews out of Sundance and has played (virtually or otherwise) at several other festivals this year. Produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Productions and distributed by A24, it's hard to imagine the film not competing for awards during this extended and unusual season. Alas, the trailer doesn't reveal a release date. But if I had to speculate, it will open in very limited release near the end of December and go wider (and possibly hit a streaming service) in January. But the sooner we can see it, the better.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.