(LEAD) ‘Minari’ shortlisted for Oscars’ two music categories

February 12, 2021

 The drama film “Minari” about a Korean American immigrant family was shortlisted for two music categories in the upcoming Academy Awards, organizers said Wednesday.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) revealed shortlists for nine categories for the Oscars, including international feature, original score, original song and animated short film.

This image provided by Pancinema shows a scene from "Minari." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This image provided by Pancinema shows a scene from "Minari." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This image captured from Erick Oh's homepage shows "Opera." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This image provided by Showbox shows a poster of "The Man Standing Next." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image provided by Pancinema shows a scene from “Minari.” (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

In the original score section, music from the American film “Minari,” composed by Emile Mosseri, was among the 15 semifinalists out of 136 eligible scores.

Music from “Mulan,” “Soul,” “Tenet,” “Mank” and “The Midnight Sky” will also compete to make the final five candidates for the Oscars to be announced on March 15.

“Rain Song,” the lullaby-like song sung by lead actress Han Yeri in “Minari,” was also included among the 15 shortlisted original songs along with “Loyal Brave True” from “Mulan,” “Green” from “Sound of Metal” and “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

“Minari,” written and directed by Korean American director Lee Isaac Chung, tells the story of a Korean immigrant family that moves to Arkansas in the 1980s and sets up a farm to pursue its own American dream.

The film has emerged as the biggest hit of the ongoing award season for its well-rounded storytelling and acting. It has won about 60 titles at U.S. film awards over the past year including the jury and audience awards at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

In particular, seasoned South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung, who takes the role of a live wire grandmother in her first U.S. film, is considered the top critical leader in the best supporting actress race in the run-up to the Academy Awards in April.

Also included on the shortlists is “Opera,” an animated short film directed by South Korean filmmaker Erick Oh. It will compete with nine other films for a Oscar nomination in the animated short film category.

Erick Oh is a former animator at U.S. Pixar Animation Studios, having participated in projects like “Inside Out” (2015). His previous animated TV series “PIG: The Dam Keeper Poems” won best TV production at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2018.

South Korea’s political drama “The Man Standing Next,” selected as the country’s entry for the best international feature film, failed to make the 15-film preliminary roster. It includes Chile’s “The Mole Agent,” Denmark’s “Another Round” and Guatemala’s “La Llorona.”

Last year, Bong Joon-ho’s sensation “Parasite” was the first South Korean film to be among the finalists of the section, previously called best foreign language film, at the Academy.

The family satire eventually won four Oscar titles, best picture, director, screenplay and international feature film.