CANNES 2010 - Golden Palm
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... From the director of SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, TROPICAL MALADY and BLISSFULLY YOURS.
Thanapat Saisaymar (as Uncle Boonmee), Jenjira Pongpas (as Jenjira), Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakarn Aphaiwonk, Geerasak Kulhong, Kanokporn Thongaram
Directors of Photography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Yukontorn Mingmongkon, Charin Pengpanich
Sound Design: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Shimizu Koichi
Editor: Lee Chatametikool
Production Design: Akekarat Homlaor
Set Design: Nitipong Thintubthai
Costume Design: Chatchai Chaiyon
Special Make-up: Achawan Pupawan
Line Producer: Suchada Sirithanawuddhi
Animism, apparitions, out-of-body experiences, sex with a catfish -- there's all that and more in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's wonderfully nutty "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives." More readily accessible than his previous films in its dreamlike vignette structure... Buddhist rhythms, mythical underpinnings and mesmeric images... "Uncle Boonmee" plays freely with all manner of talking animals and otherworldly visitors without ever feeling the need to rationalize their existence.
Justin Chang, VARIETY
A whimsical and subliminal film steeped in the spiritualism of Northeast Thai culture... 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... The matter-of-fact way in which the humans interact with dead or otherworldly beings make for some deadpan humor... There is also eerie poignancy in the way spiritual beings hover around Boonmee as they sense his impending transition to another world... Free-floating and esoteric, incorporating myth (underwater sex between a facially-tainted princess and a catfish), politics (photographs of soldiers hinting at military-related human disappearances) and parallel worlds (Tong and Jen in different places at the same time)...
Maggie Lee, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
The wonderfully titled Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is a beautifully entrancing film... Elegantly artistic film that is both visually arresting and engagingly entertaining... A beautifully assembled affair, with certain scenes staged with painterly composure, and also increasingly moving as the subtle story develops. Plus Apichatpong Weerasethakul is not afraid of adding in moments of surreal humour – often laugh-out-loud moments for that – which helps the pacing of the film.
Mark Adams, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL
Apichatpong’s sensory immersions induce a state of simultaneous relaxation and watchfulness... An otherworldly fable, Uncle Boonmee often alights on earthly sensations (the taste of raw honey, a lingering embrace) and political realities (the violent history of Thailand’s poor, rural northeast and, at a remove, the current clashes in Bangkok).
Dennis Lim, ARTFORUM (USA)
Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of those unclassifiable directors whose movies offer a continuously open, adventurous and exciting new ways of filmmaking... Entrancing, strange... “Uncle” resists simple classification in narrative terms. It is best just to submit to the dreamy, slow and sensual rhythms that simply take hold... “Uncle Boonmee” is art cinema of a very high order. It is also a great movie...
Patrick Z. McGavin, WWW.EMANUELLEVY.COM (USA)
“Uncle Boonmee” lights up with marvelous imagery and invention from its very first scene. Weerasethakul deals with folklore, memory and death in a wonderfully playful manner that’s moderately accessible and cryptic at the same time. Guided by forces as otherworldly as his plot, the filmmaker turns narrative confusion into his greatest conceit.
Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE (USA)
A newfound political and intellectual engagement and an evolving aesthetic that draws as much from the avant-garde as from narrative filmmaking... A mysterious, haunting, and breathtakingly beautiful film about, variously, the relationship between man and nature, history, communal experience and memory, decay, and transcendence.
Matt Noller, SLANT (USA)
A film that you slip into as you would a warm blanket, greet it as you would an old, dear friend, sigh with contentment as when a gentle breeze cools the end of a day... The film is full of life, dead and alive, and suffuse with gentleness. Boonmee and his family greet the dead with smiles and love, and the film emits a luminescence as tactile as the milky forest chiaroscuro of its photography...
Daniel Kasman, MUBI.COM (USA)
A masterpiece... "Uncle Boonmee" is utterly captivating... Bemusing at times but bewitching at others. Sometimes it takes the breath away. By the close it has invaded your brain and heart and soul.
Nigel Andrews, FINANCIAL TIMES (UK)
Simply wonderful, an absorbing, eerie, funny and transporting folktale that finds the filmmaker happily at work in his own private, magical space... The film is a meditation on making the transition from the physical to the spirit world, with Apichatpong using nature in a way that's abstract yet somehow instantly accessible... "Uncle Boonmee" is a rich and beguiling fantasy set in a world that it's a wrench to leave...
David Cox, FILM4.COM (UK)
To watch it is to feel many things – balmed, seduced, amused, mystified... Meticulous attention to sound design, exquisite cinematography, and the patience with which it unfolds, morphs and insinuates itself in our imaginations...
Sukhdev Sandhu, THE TELEGRAPH (UK)
Weerasethakul has disregarded any possible division between our world and any others that may exist. Yet the story is also enriched by deeply felt notes of love, grief and joy, as well as a delicious sense of humour and — even more surprising — an awareness of the grim political realities for rural Thais... Gobsmackingly beautiful...
Jason Anderson, EYEWEEKLY.COM (Canada)