Secret Sunshine
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In this somber Korean drama, a young mother and widow, Shin-ae, moves with her young son, Jun, from Seoul to a small town called Miryang following her husband's death. Having given up on her career as a concert pianist when she married her husband, she starts up a piano school, but soon it begins to feel like the polite people who inhabit her new home aren't as friendly as they seem on the surface. Judgmental whispers and disapproving gossip begin to reach Shin-ae's ears, and pressure to join the Christian cult that thrives in the town begins to mount. She's hesitant until an… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There is a natural tendency to appreciate movies that are neat and concise. "Secret Sunshine" makes a striking argument for the antithesis."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A secular hymn to the small triumphs and cavernous tragedies of the everyday, and to our awesome ability to cope."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"The amount of tragedy delivered by this story would feel abusive if a lesser talent was at its center."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Superbly observed study of a woman's tortured spiritual odyssey, filled with honest drama, unexpected humor and brilliant revelations."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"Profoundly moving, intelligent and unflinching. It boasts a brave, emotionally devastating performance by Jeon Do-yeon."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"The cinematic equivalent of prose that is clear, elegant and lyrical."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"This exploration of grief in contemporary South Korea plods along adequately and intelligently."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"It quickly dawns as to why Jeon won so many awards for this performance..."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Trespass
"a wrenching, darkly comic and immersive work"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"Buried in the year-end rush but one of the year's best films."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"This fourth film from Lee Chang-dong, one of the leading lights in the new South Korean cinema, begins as a young widow moves to the small town of Milyang, where her late husband was born and where she plans to work as a piano teacher."
‑ , Globe and Mail
"In a performance as raw and naked as I can recall seeing, Jeon navigates the ebbs and flows of Shin-ae's grief."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"It doesn't touch the heart as much as it thinks it does."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Brilliantly written, acted and directed, this is a work that evokes the Russian novel despite being a Korean film. Treats larger questions of life and death in the serious manner that they deserve."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
More reviews for Secret Sunshine on Rotten Tomatoes

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