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To the Wonder
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Unusually, only months separate this drama from the previous film by Terrence Malick, a writer/director known for his leisurely, meditative approach behind the scenes as well as on the screen.
The Tree of Life
earned him an Oscar nomination for best director in 2012, but the dream-like aesthetic of that ambitious epic doesn't have the same impact when applied to this love triangle involving Ben Affleck, his European partner (Olga Kurylenko) and his childhood sweetheart (Rachel McAdams). Kurylenko delivers a voiceover, in French, picking through her feelings and exploring deeper questions of faith without really getting anywhere. Presumably, this is why Javier Bardem picks up the narration halfway through - he plays a priest trying to make sense of the loss of
faith. At the centre of the story is Affleck, a man torn between two women, but he is cast adrift by Malick and left to merge into beautiful backgrounds - mostly sandy beaches and sunlit fields of wheat. For a film about the most profound human emotion,
To the Wonder
is a bit flighty and beige.
An American tourist in Paris falls in love with a French single mother, and hastily marries her before bringing her home with him to Oklahoma. As their passion cools, they each seek solace in relationships with others - she turns to a fellow immigrant, a priest who is losing his faith, while her husband is reunited with an old flame. Terrence Malick's drama, starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.
Cast & Crew
Sex scenes, nudity.
DVD and Blu-ray
22 Feb 2013
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