The amount of tragedy delivered by this story would feel abusive if a lesser talent was at its center.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
It quickly dawns as to why Jeon won so many awards for this performance...
In a performance as raw and naked as I can recall seeing, Jeon navigates the ebbs and flows of Shin-ae's grief.
There is a natural tendency to appreciate movies that are neat and concise. "Secret Sunshine" makes a striking argument for the antithesis.
Superbly observed study of a woman's tortured spiritual odyssey, filled with honest drama, unexpected humor and brilliant revelations.
a wrenching, darkly comic and immersive work
| Original Score: 4/5
It doesn't touch the heart as much as it thinks it does.
| Original Score: B
Profoundly moving, intelligent and unflinching. It boasts a brave, emotionally devastating performance by Jeon Do-yeon.
| Original Score: 8.921/10
The cinematic equivalent of prose that is clear, elegant and lyrical.
Buried in the year-end rush but one of the year's best films.
Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart.
| Original Score: B+
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.
[S]low portrait of damaged woman struggling against community expectations reveals universality [in] extraordinary Do-yeon who dramatically shifts gears again [and again].
| Original Score: 7/10
An exemplary examination of coping that expands to entail questions of morality, absolution and faith.
| Original Score: A-
It is unlikely you are going to see a more palpable portrayal of grief this year than Jeon Do-yeon's magnificent perfomance as Shin-ae in this Korean drama of the heart.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A secular hymn to the small triumphs and cavernous tragedies of the everyday, and to our awesome ability to cope.
Perfect for those wishing to enjoy a nice traumatizing time at the movies.
| Original Score: 3/5
This exploration of grief in contemporary South Korea plods along adequately and intelligently.
Can a movie traumatize you in a good way?
Even as the film piles awkwardness and suffering upon its character, it never feels exploitative or emotionally manipulative, maintaining a restrained tone entirely devoid of melodrama.