Have you seen "Minari" yet? The mostly-Korean-language film, directed by Lee Isaac Chung, has won us over, but now, two of its stars -- Alan Kim and Steven Yeun -- are trying their best to become our new favorite thing, and we’re loving it.
In case you haven't seen it, the film follows the Yi family, immigrants from South Korea to America, hoping for a better life and a slice of the American dream. They settle in rural Arkansas, and dad Jacob (Steven Yeun) wants to build a vegetable farm, while mom Monica is unsure if it's the best decision for the family. Their two kids, David (Alan Kim) and Anne, try to adjust to life in their new home, and grandmother Soon-ja joins the family from South Korea. Soon-ja isn’t a cookie-baking grandma, but instead a gambling and swearing grandma, much to David’s disappointment.
The pint-sized Kim is receiving accolades for his work as the precocious David. This Sunday, he won Best Young Actor/Actress at the Critics' Choice Awards. As the 8-year-old was giving his acceptance speech over Zoom, he broke down into a blubbering mess, crying happy tears while quickly running through a whole list of grown-ups who helped him succeed.
He even pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, a callback to a bit from the movie, where young David tests himself to make sure he isn’t wetting the bed.
Kim has been doing the most to endear us as he makes the interview rounds to promote the film. On "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," he wore his purple Taekwondo belt, professed his love for Mountain Dew, which he discovered while filming the movie, and explained how he’s raking it in from the tooth fairy (he got a $20!).
His favorite part about making the movie was handling the baby chicks (David’s parents determine the sex of chickens for a living), because the chicks were “so cute and nice.” He also loves the song “Sugar” from, as he explains, “Macaroon 5” -- no one tell him it’s Maroon, because he’s stinkin' precious.
This kid even knows how to work a red carpet:
But then, along comes his co-star Steven Yeun, on a mission to be 2021’s Sexiest Man Alive. The former “The Walking Dead” star is gracing the pages of GQ this month and, yowza, these modern-day Marlborough Man shots are out of this world. And even though he calls himself "mad dumb" in the profile, he’s got some beautifully-deep thoughts about race, religion and acting, so he's more than just a pretty face.
If Steven Yeun is not our new internet boyfriend, I no longer know what to believe.
None of this should be a surprise. The guy has a history of serving looks, after all...
How dare he be this handsome?
It seems that both Kim and Yeun want our attention, and we do not know which way to go.
They are not only competing for our affection, but they tend to twin. Here they are as cowboys. For the record, Alan did his version first.
And now we’ve got the dueling duo of couture and puppies.
We surrender to their charms! At the very least, we hope the pair earn matching Oscar nominations along with co-star Youn Yuh-jung, who plays the grandmother. For all of their hard work bringing us joy and making such a heartfelt movie, they deserve it. It would be historic, as Asian performers have been underrepresented in acting categories, but it's the casts' time to shine in one of the best films of the year.
"Minari" is available for streaming on Video On Demand.