Metascore
79

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

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: A hardened ex-con falls for a severely disabled woman in this psychological drama.
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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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 80
    In a sense, Oasis is an unabashed tearjerker, but Lee keeps knocking the melodrama off-balance, making all the big emotional payoffs a little discomforting, because they're not that far removed from something really disturbing.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    75
    In the 2002 South Korean film Oasis, one can appreciate one of Asia's best directors (Lee Chang-dong) and one of the region's best actresses (Moon So-ri).
  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
    9
    A daring, disturbing film encompassing practically every universal theme and emotion facing any human being. This film takes the concept of 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
    3
    Another dishonest film about mental retardation and physical disability, meant to flatter the audience with its own (presumed) benevolence, 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

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