‘Minari’ is a Singular Joy

For director Lee Isaac Chung, creating Minari was a process of excavation. It opens and closes with memories from Chung’s childhood: beginning with the family’s first sight of their new home in Arkansas and ending with the grandmother’s minari patch, thriving on the outskirts of their property. This oenanthe javanica plant, the film’s namesake and a herb that can grow just about anywhere according to … Continue reading ‘Minari’ is a Singular Joy

‘Happiest Season’ Strives for Merry Mediocrity

Amidst the flurries of snow in an idyllic Pennsylvania hometown, Happiest Season looks like a replica of the easily recognizable and oft parodied Hallmark formula. Akin to its predecessors, there’s a cynical Christmas-hater and their romantic interest, returning home from the big city for the holidays. But, whereas those films have formed a cinematic canon out of bland, innocuous (read: Waspy) heterosexuality, Happiest Season instead … Continue reading ‘Happiest Season’ Strives for Merry Mediocrity