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 romance he had eight years ago when studying literature in Valdivia. As Julio's novel progresses, so does his fondness for the past and of the love he let slip away. Based on an internationally acclaimed novella, Bonsái is a subtly affecting examination of the lies we tell ourselves in order to get by. -- (C) Strand … More
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Critic Reviews for Bonsái
It flows along placidly, heated only occasionally by a bit of sex or disco dancing.
A melancholy story of romance and regret with moments of drollery and sweetness along the way.
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.
Bonsai illustrates the unbearable lightness of loneliness in a quiet, delicate manner.
This isn't a story of Shakespearean proportions, but it's a sweet peg for this complex, carefully constructed gem.
In clumsier hands it would be easy to get lost amid the expanding thicket of narrative twists.
Cristián Jiménez's film knows how entangled the will to know is with the will to make love.
Bonsái seems like a veritable thicket of illuminating references and correspondences. A kind of poetry sprouts up even in some of the inevitable sad-twee flourishes.
It tries to examine the contradictions of recasting a flawed reality through fiction-a significant notion that the film's precious structure and borderline indie-quirkfest vibe often dilute to their own detriment.
Attractive cinematography shot in warm colours and neat, often comedic, composition.
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.
A laid back, ludic literary romance (of sorts) that sets past against present and story against story.
Jiménez's drama is crisply imprinted; another fine recent Chilean effort.
It's a brave irony that a film besotted with the pages of Proust is built around a character who couldn't be more of a closed book.
intriguing because of its Escheresque style of storytelling, but its intellectual appeal fails to reach the heart
One of the finest accomplishments from the freewheeling new generation of Chilean filmmakers.
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.
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