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Bonsái (2012)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

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

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 566


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 … More

Documentary , Drama , Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Aug 21, 2012
Box Office:
Strand Releasing - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Bonsái

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.

Full Review… | June 18, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 15, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Bonsai illustrates the unbearable lightness of loneliness in a quiet, delicate manner.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

This isn't a story of Shakespearean proportions, but it's a sweet peg for this complex, carefully constructed gem.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

In clumsier hands it would be easy to get lost amid the expanding thicket of narrative twists.

Full Review… | May 10, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

A creative film from Chile about love, books and bonsai.

Full Review… | May 10, 2012
Spirituality and Practice

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

Full Review… | May 8, 2012
Slant Magazine

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

Full Review… | April 10, 2012
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.

Full Review… | April 1, 2012

A rather tiresome film in which headcase collides with bookcase.

Full Review… | March 31, 2012
Observer [UK]

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

Full Review… | March 30, 2012

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

Full Review… | March 29, 2012

The quiet understatement of the work bears endless reflection.

Full Review… | March 29, 2012
Little White Lies

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

Full Review… | February 25, 2012
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.

Full Review… | November 4, 2011
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.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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