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Movie Review: Oasis

Alternate Title: Of Human Bondage

Story: Wow! Run to your local art house theater to see this powerful, emotive film by Korean director Lee Chang-dong. The film won five awards at last year's Venice Film Festival and I am certainly glad that we have an opportunity to see it now.

I was stunned by the brave depiction of a couple who live their independent lives on the outskirts of society. The young woman has cerebral palsy and is treated shamefully by her family. The young man is mentally challenged and is also mistreated by his family. Due to his naivety has been in jail three times.

How this couple meets and how their love grows is the basis of this film. It is creative, challenging, unconventional and sometimes hard to watch. Their growing affection for each other brought boats of tears to my eyes (and that does not happen very often).

How their love lifts them out of the lowest level of what society deems acceptable emboldened my faith in the ofttimes overrated treatment of cinematic love. The dramatic climax took my breath away.

Acting: Bravura performances by our two protagonists Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri.

Predilection: None.

Critters: A dove and a baby elephant.

Food: Lots and lots of food throughout the film including shabu-shabu, tofu, milk, noodles and rice.

Visual Art: A tapestry that depicts an oasis.

Theater Audience: Just two guys and me.

Sappy Factor: In lesser directorial hands this film could have been a sap-fest.

Quirky Meter: 2.

Squirm Scale: I admit to squirming a bit until I got used to our leading characters personalities.

Predictability Level: I did not know what was going to happen.

Tissue Usage: I used a whole tissue.

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. Other films like Cousin, Dance to My Song, Hell House and the brilliant My Left Foot all deal with characters with cerebral palsy.

Length: Ten minutes over the 2 hour rule.