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Korea · 2002
2h 12m
Director Lee Chang-dong
Starring Sol Kyung-gu, Moon So-ri, Ahn Nae-sang, Ryoo Seung-wan
Genre Drama, Romance

A mildly mentally-disabled ex-con, fresh out of a three-year prison sentence, befriends a young woman with cerebral palsy and, inadvertently, develops a progressively stronger bond with her than either of them would ever imagine.

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What are critics saying?


Chicago Reader by

Skating fearlessly on the edge of tastelessness and sentimentality, Oasis is another strong, provocative film by Lee Chang-dong.


Variety by David Rooney

An eloquent expression of both unorthodox romance and bitter disillusionment with the hypocritical institutions of family and society.


New York Daily News by Elizabeth Weitzman

Director Lee Chang-Dong has boldly crafted a challenge rarely found on film. But if you choose to meet it, you'll be rewarded with one of the most original, indelible romances in recent memory.


L.A. Weekly by John Powers

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.


TV Guide Magazine by Maitland McDonagh

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.


Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

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.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

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.


The New York Times by Stephen Holden

The remarkable if overlong Korean film Oasis strips away much of the sentimentality and goody-two-shoes attitudes that the movies traditionally display toward disabled people.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

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.

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