Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2011)



Critic Consensus: Languorous and deeply enigmatic, Palme d'Or winner Uncle Boonmee represents an original take on the ghosts that haunt us.

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Movie Info

Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave - the birthplace of his first life... -- (C) Strand
Art House & International , Comedy , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Strand Releasing


Thanapat Saisaymar
as Uncle Boonmee
Nattakarn Aphaiwonk
as Huay (Boonmee's Wife)
Geerasak Kulhong
as Boonsong (Boonmee's Son)
Kanokporn Tongaram
as Roong (Jen's Friend in Hotel)
Samud Kugasang
as Jaai (Boonmee's Chief Worker)
Sumit Suebsee
as Soldier
Vien Pimdee
as Farmer
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Critic Reviews for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (23)

Weerasethakul's sincerity is evident, though the film's meditative pace and vague philosophical undertones will not be for everyone.

June 16, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

This is a film that wants to be interesting, and it certainly is that. Whether you want to dine with the ghost and the monkey-man or not, they bring a new perspective to the table.

Full Review… | April 29, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

As is to be expected, Weerasethakul frequently abandons the story for trancelike contemplations of nature, but never before in his work has the device felt more purposeful.

Full Review… | April 29, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

While the result is pretty much the definition of a film that should be experienced, not explained, there's no sense here that Weerasethakul is being difficult for difficult's sake, or even attempting to conceal his mysteries.

Full Review… | April 29, 2011
Top Critic

It playfully invokes both the lifestyle and animistic beliefs of the Northeast country folk, and the primitive magic of early Thai cinema, relating both of these to his musings on reincarnation.

Full Review… | April 29, 2011
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

If you are open, even in fancy, to the idea of ghosts who visit the living, this film is likely to be a curious but rather bemusing experience.

Full Review… | April 14, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

I arrived puzzled at the end of this film wondering if Uncle Boonmee could recall his past lives, and although its direction is tight and careful, the narrative is sadly loose and sterile, allowing numerous symbolic interpretations even if it just seems to be a lifeless, empty fable.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] A lot of people criticise Uncle Boonmee for it's lack of a solid narrative. Having one wasn't the film's primary focus anyway, but what it does have, simply cannot be explained in literal terms. This art house feature was created for spiritual enlightenment so naturally, it's not your average indie flick. Despite it's incredibly slow pacing, it's overwhelming. It doesn't let it's open minded surrealism disrupt the ideas and explanations of reincarnation, ghosts and the distances and borders between lives. Even in it's weirdest moments it's intelligent, enigmatic, and engaging and perfectly blends genres such as drama, comedy and horror. Visually outstanding, thought-provoking and delightfully otherworldly, it's one of the better films of 2010.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

I don't mind dead wives showing up for dinner as uninvited guests but when a Sasquatch starts to browse your old photo albums THAT is where things get a little weird.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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