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'To the Wonder,' a lesser effort by Terrence Malick

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko give each other the silem treatment in the dialog-light To the Wonder

This ecstatic approach makes Malick one of the most un-ironic filmmakers working today. His sincerity is both palpable and bold... but also his undoing at times. He repeats his intellectual and visual conceits ad nauseam and expands human expression into emotional incoherence. How many people can we follow as they walk away from us? Why is every woman in his films depicted as a knowing child? Must all our choices be connected to a larger cosmic ideal? Is every leaf on Earth so gloriously sun-dappled?

Still, there’s no getting around Malick’s ability to powerfully weave together visually resplendent and achingly intimate scenes (the best of which is Affleck and Adams sitting atop a car surrounded by buffalo). For those who embraced The Tree of Life’s kaleidoscopic ode to creation and memory, To the Wonder acts as a modern requiem to love. It may be a lesser effort, but not for a lack of vision.

To The Wonder

Writ. and dir. Terrence Malick; feat. Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams (R)
At Santikos

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