The long-awaited winner of Sundance 2020 and the success of the A24Threateningfinally released in theaters last week, and while it won’t be VOD until later this month, some audiences are already craving it.Threatening. The 1980s family drama about a Korean family moving to Arkansas to start a farm is based on the life of filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung and stars the standout performances of Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, and Yuh-Jung Youn.
Threateningmay be a one-off movie of a generation, full of emotion and struggle, but there are still plenty of other heartfelt dramas made in recent years that will make audiences cry and pull their hearts out.
This 2020 Australian film follows a dying teenage girl, Milla, as she falls in love with a petty drug dealer who has been kicked out of her home.
The heartwarming performances of Eliza Scanlen and Toby Wallace give this film its heart, while Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis bring a comedic twist as Milla’s parents. The Australian suburb ofBabyteethare far from the farmlands of rural America, but both films convey the message of “family first”.
9 Fantastic captain
This 2016 title may sound like a superhero movie, but it’s actually a comedy-drama about an unconventional family living off the grid in the Pacific Northwest, the father of the family and his six children. are forced to return to civilization when their matriarch dies and their world is turned upside down. .
While preaching a “sticky to man” mantra, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) has to adjust to raise six children on his own in a more “normal” fashion. It’s as silly as it is heartwarming.
8 Honey boy
Honey boyis a snapshot of writer and star Shia LaBeouf’s abusive childhood relationship with his rodeo clown father.This short indie film stars LaBeouf as his father James, Noah Jupe in childhood Shia and Lucas Hedges as a mid-career Shia who wrote the screenplay forHoney boyin rehab.
Although it takes place almost entirely in a Los Angeles motel, the confined setting only serves to elevate the tension between father and son until he reaches his final in tears.
7 Tiger tail
Tiger tailis a recent Netflix drama following a three-generation Taiwanese family, retracing their journey from Taiwan to California.
Written and directed by Alan Yang, a former writer forParks and recreationandMaster of None,Tiger tail is a surprising start to Yang’s comedy career. It’s slow and sentimental and features a captivating performance by Tzi Ma. And for fans of Twin peaks, Joan Chen comes back into their lives with a big cameo like a lost love.
Kogonada’s directorial debut is less of a film and more of a tour through Columbus, Indiana, highlighting the city’s famous Modernist architecture. ColumbusA recent high school graduate (Haley Lu Richardson) Casey follows as she gives a literal tour of Columbus to international businessman Jin Lee (John Cho).
Just like Casey is stuck in Columbus before going to college, Jin Lee is also stuck there while his father is dying at the local hospital. This is a film about the beauty of where you are, and it does it in a surprisingly picturesque way.
5 The farewell
A little likeThreatening, this A24 comedy-drama centers on an Asian-American family living with a sick grandmother. With an escape performance from Awkwafina, paired with Tzi Ma’s steady hand,The farewellwas graced with rave reviews and awards in 2019.
It takes a rare talent to balance comedy and tears, which filmmaker Lulu Wang knows well, and because of that talent, audiences are already eager to see what she’s up to next.
4 Our friend
It took a few years for Gabriela CowperthwaiteOur friendto finally get to the theaters. After making its 2019 debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film is finally available to the public in 2021.
With Casey Affleck, Jason Segel and Dakota Johnson,Our friendtells the true story of a man who moves in with his best friends, a married couple struggling to balance a cancer diagnosis and raise their two young daughters. They are not a conventional family, but through their struggles they are linked as one, andOur friendbeautifully tells the real story.
3 First cow
This period A24 piece about a cook and an immigrant who started a cookie business in 1800s Oregon by stealing milk from a town cow has been hailed as one of, if notthe, best film of 2020.
It’s a slow-burning drama that weaves its way into the hearts of audiences and bathes them in empathy. A little likeThreatening, the plot ofFirst cowis secondary to the human emotion painted on the screen. ForFirst cow, the feeling comes first.
For viewers ofThreateningcurious to know where Steven Yeun has been since leavingThe walking deadand his award-winning performance inThreatening, they don’t need to look any further than the 2018 Korean movie,Burning.
This brain drama, based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, follows a young man who believes his crush was killed by a wealthy bachelor who claims to “burn talons”. It is one of the smartest movies in recent memory and it features one of Steven Yeun’s best performances to date. LikeThreatening,Burningis compulsory in Steven Yeun’s program.
To think that two such similar films were released within 12 months of each other may seem unlikely, and yetAislescame out last May. This heartfelt Andrew Ahn film follows a single mother of a lonely son, as they travel to a suburb of upstate New York to clean up the house of his recently deceased sister.
While mom Kathy is cleaning up her sister’s house, her son Kody befriends an elderly neighbor, Del (who is played by Brian Dennehy in one of his latest performances). WhileThreateninggets a well-deserved spotlight for being a poignant family drama that makes you laugh and cry,Aislesis the film’s forgotten cousin, a hidden gem of equal value.
NEXT: AFI Awards: Top 10 Movies of 2020, Ranked (According to Rotten Tomatoes)
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