maandag 1 september 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 102: To the Wonder

Director: Terrence Malick
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Runtime: 112 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem

Description: After falling in love in Paris, Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck) come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor (Javier bardem) struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman (Rachel McAdams) from his childhood.

Review: We know Terrence Malick from then very much talked about movie “The Tree of Life”. It won in Cannes and “To the Wonder” wouldn’t be a Malick movie if you didn’t recognize his unique style. It’s again an impressionistic piece of art. “To the Wonder” follows the American Neil and the Ukrainian Marina, who live a passionate life on a French island. Together with Marina’s daughter, they move to America. When in Oklahoma, Neil starts to doubt his love for Marina and gets into touch with his old flame Jane. In the meantime Marina has gone back to France and Neil lives a loving life with Jane. Parallel to these happening we see the life of a priest, who is starting to doubt his faith.
The viewer gets little background information about the characters. You’re actually guessing the whole time. It doesn’t bother you. What does bother me is that Neil hardly says anything entire film, while Marina gets a bit more depth though her narration. Neil stays to close to the surface. The ‘silent type’ could be interesting, but it doesn’t work here.
“To the Wonder” is a nice film. Great quality, perfect camera work and wonderful cinematography. And the music is so amazing, it gives you chills in a good way. The poetic narration just finishes this all, it all fits together like pieces in a puzzle. It shows many similarities to “The Tree of Life”, it’s almost impossible not to compare. It’s all about emotions, the complexity of people and relationships and the pain you can feel.
“To the Wonder” is beautifully made, but still has some critical notes. Not a movie for just anyone, but definitely worth your time.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

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