Sunday, April 21, 2013

To The Wonder: Movie Review

To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2012, USA)
It's a new Terrence Malick film. When I was going to film school I caught a few Malick movies, Days of Heaven and Badlands, and was hoping that To the Wonder might be a return to a more traditional narrative form after The Tree of Life.

Nope. To the Wonder is very much more of the same as Tree of Life to the point where (reading the credits) it seems that Malick even used footage from Tree of Life in To the Wonder. Malick continues to experiment with narrative form. The film flows along a meandering path; the camera ever-moving forward, dialogue buried or unnecessary, cuts happening more for rhythm than dramatic effect. The film skips along time and space, heedless of acts, scenes, or, some would argue, the audience.

There's some sort of plot and some characters but they don't really matter. They drop in for a few minutes and then go away again. It's all about the experience of the film itself. Take it or leave it.

While I respect what Malick is trying to do, I'm not that big a fan of it. It's pistachio when I'm looking for something more chocolate.

I don't think I was the only one who wasn't enjoying To the Wonder when I saw it. At one point the movie faded to black. When the picture returned, there was a collective groan from the audience and I was heard to utter an expletive that was similar to "Oh, duck."

And, just to set the record straight, this isn't a sequel to Get Him to the Greek.

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