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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It flows along placidly, heated only occasionally by a bit of sex or disco dancing."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"Bonsai illustrates the unbearable lightness of loneliness in a quiet, delicate manner."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"A creative film from Chile about love, books and bonsai."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"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."
‑ , Scotsman
"Jiménez's drama is crisply imprinted; another fine recent Chilean effort."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"A melancholy story of romance and regret with moments of drollery and sweetness along the way."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"This isn't a story of Shakespearean proportions, but it's a sweet peg for this complex, carefully constructed gem."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Cristián Jiménez's film knows how entangled the will to know is with the will to make love."
‑ Diego Costa, Slant Magazine
"A rather tiresome film in which headcase collides with bookcase."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"The quiet understatement of the work bears endless reflection."
‑ Emma Paterson, Little White Lies
"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."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"In clumsier hands it would be easy to get lost amid the expanding thicket of narrative twists."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Attractive cinematography shot in warm colours and neat, often comedic, composition."
‑ Gail Tolley, The List
"A laid back, ludic literary romance (of sorts) that sets past against present and story against story."
‑ Anton Bitel, Film4
"intriguing because of its Escheresque style of storytelling, but its intellectual appeal fails to reach the heart"
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
More reviews for Bonsái on Rotten Tomatoes