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Bonsai: A Story Of Love, Books And Plants Review

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When narrator Diego Noguera’s college sweetheart dies, he takes up the pen and tries to find expression as an author. Eight years later he's working in a bookstore and tutoring Latin, caught between remembrances of the past and his hopes for the future.

★★★★

The thin line between fiction and fabrication is trodden with teasing ease by Cristián Jiménez in this quirkily clever meditation on love, lies and literature. Revealing at the start that would-be author Diego Noguera’s soulmate dies, Jiménez switches between the college crush on Nathalia Galgani that prompted the indolent Noguera to read Proust and discover life, and the tentative relationship with translator Trinidad González that forces him to pen a tome to convince her he is working with acclaimed novelist Hugo Medina. In slipping between timeframes and exploring notions of truth and the link between creativity and deceit, Jiménez fashions a cinematic celebration of books that is witty, sensual and sweetly melancholic.

Lingering melancholy, soulfulness and nods to Proust that will thrill the literature lover add up to a delightful piece of work from the Chilean director.

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