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'Minari' captures US critics’ heart

“Minari” (Pan Cinema)
“Minari” (Pan Cinema)

“Minari” is showing that winning two awards from the Boston Society of Film Critics was only the start of its journey to capture the hearts of critic groups across the US.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association on Monday announced that Youn Yuh-jung had won for best supporting actress for playing Soon-ja, an elderly woman who comes to America to live with son Jacob’s family, in “Minari.”

The movie revolves around the story of a first-generation South Korean immigrant family of four, inspired by director Lee Isaac Chung’s own story. It has also been nominated for three awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, as well as six nominations from the Florida Film Critics Circle.

The Chicago Film Critics Association selected Steven Yeun, who plays Jacob, as a nominee for best actor and director Chung for the Milos Stehlik Award for Promising Filmmaker. Youn was also announced as a contender for best supporting actress.

Florida Film Critics Circle selected “Minari” as a nominee for three prizes -- Best Picture, Best Ensemble and Best Foreign Language Film. Chung will also compete for two awards -- Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Youn also appeared on the nominee list of the Best Supporting Actress prize of the 2020 Florida Film Critics Circle Award.

The winners of both critic groups’ awards were to be announced later Monday.

Other US-based critics‘ groups, such as the National Society of Film Critics, are likely to nominate the film and its cast for similar awards, according to Pan Cinema, the film’s local distributor.

The distributor added that positive responses from US critics will raise the possibility of an Oscar nomination for the movie. The 2021 Academy Awards, scheduled for April 25, will announce nominees on March 15.

Meanwhile, the highly anticipated “Minari” will be released in Korean theaters in early 2021.

By Song Seung-hyun (