Bonsái (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bonsái (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 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) Strandmore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Cristián Jiménez
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 21, 2012
Box Office: $21.2k
Strand Releasing - Official Site


Hugo Medina
as Gazmuri
Andrés Waas
as Claudio
Julio Carrasco
as Poeta Excéntrico
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News & Interviews for Bonsái

Critic Reviews for Bonsái

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (11)

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

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

If Bret McKenzie and an angst-ridden Denise Huxtable had Chilean doppelgangers, they would be playing the lead roles of this film. Well-made adaptation (no easy feat) and engaging characters that welcome a closer look.


Alternates between the beginnings and endings of a relationship. Lovely, charming scenes which don't, ultimately, come together to tell a story. I enjoyed it while it was occurring, though.

Michael H.
Michael Harbour

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