To the Wonder

Terrence Malick's latest is a lot less confounding than The Tree of Life (there aren't any dinosaurs in it, for better or worse), in large part because rather than tackling the entirety of existence, it focuses on something ostensibly smaller: relationships. In particular, one between Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck). Because it's Malick, everything looks stunning, though it never loses its Ansel Adams-like layer of precision and distance. It sounds great, too: Only a few lines of dialogue are spoken (Affleck gets about two lines), though much is said, via subtitled voiceover. But while the impressionistic To the Wonder is remarkable to see and hear, it's also both intimate and remote—an odd sensation that keeps the film's characters just past arm's length.


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