This Palme d’Or winner is even more lush and magical than Tropical Malady and a lot more coherent than Blissfully Yours — large swaths of which I found unwatchable — and, even though I’ve never been as big a booster of Apichatpong Weerasethakul as so many cinephiles seem to be, Uncle Boonmee nevertheless displays a confident young director approaching mastery.

Every shot is so carefully composed and matched to the next that watching the film is like turning the pages of a picture-book found in a dream. Sure, it’s someone else’s dream and some of the pages are missing and it’s in a barely familiar if evocative (visual) language, but all that just deepens the engagement with the mystery.

And, oh yeah, a pretty, pretty princess has sex with a catfish.