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Malick is working faster these days. As Ryan Gosling, appearing in a forthcoming Malick joint, recently told The Playlist, the director is "cutting like five movies right now." Will working faster loosen Malick up, freeing him to make more mistakes and, possibly, some glorious messes? With To the Wonder, he may be aimlessly dancing around old stereotypes. But he's dancing as fast as he can, and the strain means something. He hasn't made a great movie. At least he's made a human one.

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16 comments
mofarrell
mofarrell

I saw To The Wonder at Albany, NY's wonderful Spectrum cinema complex last weekend. The early saturday matinee audience consisted of yours truly and five other viewers. When the film was over and the lights went up that audience was reduced to two, myself and one other Terrence Malick devotee. Somewhere during the film's first 40 minutes the majority of that tiny audience had left. It's possible that those persons had no knowledge of Malick's past work, or went to see the movie because Ben Affleck was in it or perhaps they were moviegoers randomly picking out something to see and lighted on this film, in which case they threw up their hands in frustration and gave up on the film.

I found myself feeling disappointed in this latest work by a film director whose movies I find utterly fascinating. Much of the new film seemed a retread of past works, and yet as the days pass I find  my mind's eye flooded with images from the film, and I want see To The Wonder again. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that this is a genuine work of art. 

Malick has never been strong on story structure or dialogue heavy screenplays.  His filmmaking is dreamlike, ethereal and To The Wonder bears this out even more so than his previous work.  The majority of critics have been particularly harsh in their assessment of the film. But the film does have its admirers.

Terrence Malick has a sensibility that is truly unique in today's 21st Century era of moviemaking.  It's something I can't put into words because to write about his art is frustrating. The reward is in the seeing. I think he's a genius director, on a par with Stanley Kubrick and a few other legendary directors.

cgarfieldbaker
cgarfieldbaker

great editing work in the print edition - olga Kurylenko listed in photo caption when it is actually rachel mcadams...how does someone mess that up...??

Nancycadet
Nancycadet

Some of us miss the literate reviews and encyclopedic film and off screen knowledge of J. Hoberman. I don't need the snarky tone and gossip-orientation of S. Zacharek. I guess I will just have to use the "opposites" rule--if SZacharek likes it, I wouldn't.

meep
meep

Cringe: "It's ridiculous, pretentious as hell, and in places laugh-out-loud funny."

fbscofield
fbscofield

@szacharek Really enjoyed the thoughtful review. Wondering why it's listed as "rotten" on RT though? Sounds like you came away liking it.

johnwarrender
johnwarrender

@szacharek Glad to see you liked To The Wonder. I had no choice but to like it or I'd have lost my Malick Fan Club symbolism decoder ring.

campbellismyname
campbellismyname

I'll be reading the Voice again now that Zacharek is on board.

paulmaherjr
paulmaherjr

The Village Voice deserves your limited grasp of cinema. 

rogienepomuceno
rogienepomuceno

Couldn't believe what I was reading: after a long spell, a decent film review from the Village Voice, finally.

szacharek
szacharek

@fbscofield It's pretty positive, yeah. But there are no gray areas -- no half-ripe, half-rotten tomatoes -- on RT.

 

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