Director: Cristián Jiménez
Screenwriters: Cristián Jiménez, Alejandro Zambra
Starring: Diego Noguera, Alicia Fehrmann, Andrés Waas
Screened at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival
File under “not my thing” — cutesy and schematic, bullying its characters to conform to its themes until there’s no life left in them. The action bounces back and forth between a literary love story (they bond over a phony love of Proust and read to each other in bed) and a morose flash forward wherein the male half of the former couple writes a book about his eight-year-old romance but pretends to his neighbor that it’s a novel by a famous artist that he’s been hired to type from a handwritten manuscript. The film’s various texts foreshadow and illuminate the on-screen action just so; there’s even a ridiculously punny metaphor wherein a Proust volume literally leaves a mark on the main character. And I haven’t even mentioned the stupid fucking titular tree. Bonsai is stuffy and stifling; nothing and no one feels real; I was miserably bored.
— Eugene Novikov