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For a refreshing change, the Korean immigrants who embody Minari are not fresh off the boat; unable to find the financial stability needed to make it in 1980s California, the family moves to the Ozarks to start anew. But the originality stops there, and in its wake, we begin charting an all-too familiar course. The kids are cloyingly precocious. “I’m not pretty, I’m good-looking,” young David (Alan Kim) shouts while trying to dead-end whatever inroads antagonistic cupcake Grandma Soonja (Yuh-jung Youn) is attempting. If writer-director-ageist Lee Isaac Chung depicted Korean immigrants in half the sentimentally condescending manner as he does Soonja, festival audiences would have cancelled the picture halfway through the third reel. Treated like an escapee from an inter-galatic nursing home, the adorably demented oldster teaches the children to gamble and curse. She’s a firm believer that Mountain Dew is water sourced from naturally occurring springs, and just wait until you see the trick bedwetting little David has in store for the batty crone. Even before the drama kicked in full throttle. one felt the Korean-Amerian production beginning to give under the weight of Hollywood’s thumbprint, so much so that even the most artistically-undemanding among us might consider giving a subtitled film a try. With: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, and Will Patton as buggy Apostle Paul. (2020) — Scott Marks

Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 55 minutes
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Landmark Hillcrest
3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 619-298-2904 | Directions
Wednesday, June 16
4:30pm, 7:10pm
Thursday, June 17
4:30pm, 7:10pm

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