All About 'Minari', the Moving Immigrant Drama That's Now a Top 2021 SAG Awards Contender

Minari earned a nomination for best ensemble and two acting nods at the 2021 SAG Awards

Alan S. Kim, Steven Yeun, Noel Cho, Yeri Han Minari
Alan S. Kim, Steven Yeun, Noel Cho, Yeri Han in Minari. Photo: David Bornfriend/A24

The critically acclaimed film Minari is the surprise darling of the 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.

On Thursday, the movie was nominated for outstanding ensemble in a motion picture, plus actors Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung were both named in the acting categories.

Minari stars Yeun and Yeri Han as Korean-American immigrants who migrate to a farm in Arkansas in pursuit of the American dream. Produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and distributed by A24, the movie won the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury and Audience prizes last year and has since amassed a following of critics and stars who continue to sing it praises.

The drama also stars Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Scott Haze and Will Patton. It was executive produced by Yeun, Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner, and will be out on Feb. 12.

Sundance Portrait Studio
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While the movie largely features Korean dialogue, it's been labeled the quintessential American movie with its admirers pointing to how the film's themes are as American as they come.

"Just for the record, Minari is an American movie written and directed by an American filmmaker set in America with an American lead actor and produced by an American production company," Marvel actor Simu Liu, who was born in China and raised in Canada, wrote back in December after the Golden Globe rules of eligibility kept the movie from competing in the best picture category. (It was nominated for the foreign language equivalent on Wednesday.)

"...and without spoiling anything it is a BEAUTIFUL story of an immigrant family trying to build a life from the ground up. What could be more American than that?" he continued.

Minari follows the precedent set by The Farewell last year, the Awkwafina-starring drama about a woman who travels to China after her family's elderly matriarch is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The Farewell was placed in the foreign language category at the Golden Globes despite coming from American producing company A24 — the same studio behind Minari.

The Farewell director Lulu Wang equally criticized Minari's Golden Globes placement after reports surfaced, calling for the rules to be examined and changed.

"I have not seen a more American film than #Minari this year. It's a story about an immigrant family, IN America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterizes American as only English-speaking," Wang wrote in a tweet.

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