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Bonsái (2012)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 566

My Rating

Movie Info

Julio is a struggling young writer who has hit a wall. Unemployed and involved in a half-hearted relationship with his neighbor, things are finally starting to look up when he gets an interview with a renowned author to transcribe his latest work. Things don't go as planned, however, and Julio doesn't get the job. Instead of admitting the truth to his girlfriend, he pretends to be transcribing the novel when actually writing his own story. Searching for inspiration and a plot, Julio revisits a

Aug 21, 2012

$21.2k

Strand Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (4)

It flows along placidly, heated only occasionally by a bit of sex or disco dancing.

June 18, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A melancholy story of romance and regret with moments of drollery and sweetness along the way.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Scenes of breezy intimacy mix well with deadpan comic moments, and Noguera's face is that rare male visage that seems boyishly opaque but over time suggests deep reserves of melancholy.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Bonsai illustrates the unbearable lightness of loneliness in a quiet, delicate manner.

May 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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This isn't a story of Shakespearean proportions, but it's a sweet peg for this complex, carefully constructed gem.

May 11, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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In clumsier hands it would be easy to get lost amid the expanding thicket of narrative twists.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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A creative film from Chile about love, books and bonsai.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Cristián Jiménez's film knows how entangled the will to know is with the will to make love.

May 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Attractive cinematography shot in warm colours and neat, often comedic, composition.

April 10, 2012 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Like a bonsai, Julio is a stunted developer, and this film is a bit of a miniature curio but also pleasantly odd, funny and warm.

April 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman
Scotsman

A rather tiresome film in which headcase collides with bookcase.

March 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A laid back, ludic literary romance (of sorts) that sets past against present and story against story.

March 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Jiménez's drama is crisply imprinted; another fine recent Chilean effort.

March 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

The quiet understatement of the work bears endless reflection.

March 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

intriguing because of its Escheresque style of storytelling, but its intellectual appeal fails to reach the heart

February 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Jiménez either doubts his audience's ability to figure things out on their lonesome or his own ability to subtly convey them - maybe both.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Bonsái

In "Bonsai," a group of university students spend the night together at a friend's house where they all pair off. That leaves Julio(Diego Noguera) looking for company which he finds with Emilia(Nathalia Galgani). Of the two, he is the first one to take off his trendy T-shirt, revealing the worst sunburn lines in history. After they become a couple, he also helps her move in with her friend Barbara(Gabriela Arancibia).

(At some point in the future, Emilia will die and Julio will be alone.)

Eight years later, Julio is working a series of odd jobs that includes word processing for Gazmuri(Hugo Medina), a noted author. Except he finds that somebody can do the job cheaper. That does not stop Julio from continuing with the job, concocting his own manuscript, while carrying on with his neighbor Blanca(Trinidad Gonzalez), an interpreter.

Armed with a sardonic wit, "Bonsai" is a thoughtful movie about revisiting the past through creative writing, by posing some intriguing questions. Is it ever too late to reclaim what was lost? Or maybe there was no hope in the first place. For Julio, this line of thought arises when he is meeting someone new, as he also remembers his first introduction to the writing of Proust who had his own second thoughts.(Before a showing of the movie of "Time Regained," the speaker asked the audience if we had all read Proust, like in this movie. I hadn't) But with any difficult literature, maybe Julio is not experienced enough to comprehend it well at a time when he was taking a lot for granted. Remember, just because you are smart, does not mean you know everything.
May 14, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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Foreign Titles

  • Bonsai (DE)
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