Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: A hardened ex-con falls for a severely disabled woman in this psychological drama.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    An unforgettable experience from yet another filmmaker who is making South Korean cinema one of the most vibrant of any emerging on the international scene.
  2. Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's.
  3. 90
    At once a romantic melodrama, a sharp social comedy and a fierce political commentary on Korean society's cruelty to social outcasts. It's also a triumph of artistic indirection: Not a single scene plays out the way you expect. This is a film that gives humanism back its good name.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    An eloquent expression of both unorthodox romance and bitter disillusionment with the hypocritical institutions of family and society.
  5. 75
    A brave film in the way it shows two people who find any relationship almost impossible, and yet find a way to make theirs work. The problems with the film come because it overstays its welcome.
  6. 75
    You'll have to look long and hard to find a performance as emotionally raw as that of Moon So-ri in the startling South Korean love story Oasis.
  7. 50
    The combination of Lee's discomforting subject matter and distancing style -- calculating artlessness punctuated by occasional flights of lyrical fantasy -- makes this slow-moving drama a challenge that doesn't seem entirely worth the effort.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. EdB.
    Nov 12, 2006
    A daring, disturbing film encompassing practically every universal theme and emotion facing any human being. This film takes the concept of the literary "fool" and twists it a turn tighter, in a wrenching portrayal of taboo love, family, deceipt, betrayal, prejudice, exploitation, sibling rivalry, misapprehension, public humiliation, greed, guilt, shame, and at the very least Hope, truly a masterpiece of story-telling, told with so little guile and pretension as to be almost child-like in its innocence. The Oscar-deserving scene of the public, psychological melt-down by the leading male actor at the birthday dinner is a performance of a lifetime and stunning in its emotional clarity. This film puts to shame almost everything coming out of Hollywood these days. Expand
  2. Jake
    Mar 29, 2006
    Another dishonest film about mental retardation and physical disability, meant to flatter the audience with its own (presumed) benevolence, in contrast to the unfeeling or selfish characters in the film. The male character is evidently mentally retarded, but his traits and behavior belong strictly to the movies. The woman apparently has cerebral palsy, but with normal intelligence. Consequently, the "affair" between makes no sense, unless (like the filmmaker) you can't distingiush between physical and mental disability. I can only suggest that the critics who loved the film devote time to caring for a severely disabled person, and see if their experience conforms to this nonsensical film. Expand

See all 4 User Reviews