If you have not yet seen Minari, you really oughta. It’s a genuinely brilliant film about the immigration experience. It’s touching and heartfelt and occasionally funny, and Steven Yeun is perfection. Plus, if you watch it now, when the Oscar nominations are announced next Monday, you can be like, “I’m so glad that Minari was nominated. Great film!” Or you can join the rest of us in flipping our desks if it is not nominated (It will definitely be nominated).
One of the treasures of the film is Alan Kim, who is eight years old, but who was probably just six years old when Minari was shot. Kim is essentially the proxy for writer/director Lee Isaac Chung, and Minari is essentially from his character’s perspective. There’s a lot riding on Kim’s performance, and he somehow helps carry the film like Will Patton carrying a giant cross on his back while walking down an Arkansas highway. In turn, Kim deservedly won the Critics Choice Award last night for Best Young Actor, and he adorably cried his little eyes out in his acceptance speech.
“Thank you. Thank you. First of all, I’d like to thank the critics who voted and my family,” he said before he lost his composure. “Oh, my goodness, I’m crying … I hope I will be in another movie soon,” he continued through tears. “Is this a dream? Hope it’s not a dream.”
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, Jason reminded us of the expendable nature of some of the kid actors.
The kid from Minari is crazy adorable and very good in the movie BUT (let me put on my Debbie Downer hat) we coronate one of these kid actors every year only to toss them aside for a new model and shit makes me uncomfortable! I hope he has a good solid family structure!— Jason Adams (@JAMNPP) March 8, 2021
That reminded me of Quvenzhané Wallis, the wonderful actress from Beasts of the Southern Wild, who would go on to star in the unfairly maligned (I SAID IT) remake of Annie. I wondered where she’d gotten off to, only to discover that she was in 5 episodes of Black-ish last season that I had seen. I had no idea the character was played by the same young girl who starred in Beasts. Wow!
In the meantime, hopefully by combining forces with another recently celebrated child actor, Alan Kim can maintain his career, at least for as long as he wants it (and not one second longer). Congrats kiddo.