Movie Review: The movie Minari, the movie Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and the movie The Vast of Night
Zachary Hess Award Nominations Cont.
Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari is a special film. The authentic story of a Korean family struggling to lay roots in a small Arkansas town. The heartwarming ensemble is brought together by the two parental performances by Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri. Yeun’s performance as a father who dreams of growing a Korean farm in America. As you learn in the film Minari is an East Asian plant that is used in a variety of ways. As the director writes, “Minari grows: It comes in the pockets of immigrants, dies the first year, it thrives in the second and purifies the water and soil around it.” That is the essence of this movie. A beautiful American tale of work and family. Minari is currently in theaters and is available for VOD Feb 26.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
“A pair of teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania travel to New York City to seek out medical help after an unintended pregnancy.” That is the official synopsis of Eliza Hittman’s low key drama that successfully walks the tightrope of discussing abortion in a nonjudgmental and informative light. I want to point out that this film is not graphic or obscene in any way. The honest story presented in this film is not glamorous. Sidney Flannigan plays the seventeen-year-old Autumn who experiences lots of hardship at the hand of the male characters in this film. The emotional tension that Never Rarely Sometimes Always walks is akin to Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade or Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. These important films for young people were limited by the MPA’s R rating. Never Rarely Sometimes Always is PG-13. It should be viewed by teenagers because it is a raw story that many teenagers have faced. Hittman’s movie isn’t a hopeless tale of teenage hardship. It is also a somber exploration of friendship and found family. Never Rarely Sometimes Always is available on HBO or on VOD where digital movies are sold.
The Vast of Night
The Vast of Night is a low budget indie sci-fi movie that pays homage to the space-race era that the film borrows most of its aesthetic on. This stylish drama follows two radio-obsessed teens as they discover a strange frequency over the airwaves. A mystery that engages the viewer from the first frame to the last. Vast of Night’s plot plays into the canon of pulp science fiction of the 50s. Orson Welles's famous radio adaptation of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds inspires this film tremendously. The relatively unknown leads Sierra McCormick and Jack Horovitz play off each other well and make the campy story feel a little more grounded. The Vast of Night sparked some news coverage earlier in the year as the story off-screen was just as interesting as the thriller on. Director Andrew Patterson created the film within 4 weeks back in 2017 for 700 thousand dollars which he self-financed from putting together his life saving. This is unheard of for films of this scale and success. The Vast of Night was picked up by Amazon Studios out of the 2019 Slamdance independent film festival. The film is available for viewing on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
Watch Minari on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDXkOhzY5jg
Watch Never Rarely Sometimes Always:
Editor: Zachary Hess