It won the Golden Globe for Best International Film and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Need I say more?
I saw this film at Keystone Arts with my good friend Dr. Kleinman and we both loved it. Then again he thought it started slowly but due to his age I think he takes a quick nap at the beginning of most of the films we see!
The movie tells the intriguing story of a Korean immigrant family trying to start a farm in Arkansas. The family is a bundle of nervous energy that includes raising a daughter and young son with a heart problem.
The parents, played in an endearing fashion by Steven Yeun and Han Ye-Ri, are constantly engaged in verbal arguments. The dad, Jacob, wants to grow produce so the family can prosper while Monica, the wife, hates everything from moving from California to their mobile home with wheels. While she is dedicated to her family, Monica will clearly leave her husband if he doesn’t address their monetary problems.
But what elevates this film to its award status are the performances of Youn Yuh-Jung and Will Patton. Ms. Yuh-Jung is a foul-mouthed grandmother who leaves both her family and the audience laughing at every turn. Mr. Patton links up with Jacob to help with the farm, and his religious fanaticism is almost as funny as grandmother’s vulgarity.
Lee Isaac Chung’s film is one of the best family dramas to have hit the big screen in years. Sure the film is in subtitles but in many ways it tells a classic American story about what it takes to raise both yourself and family.
This film has meaning.