To The Wonder Reviews
I can sympathize with those who lament the presence of apparent Terrence Malick cliches, such as women endlessly and whimsically frolicking all over kingdom come. Perhaps the man has a thing for extremely free-spirited women. Anyway, I'll admit that such moments do take me out of the film as well -- at least momentarily. By the by, there's far too much for me to like here to dismiss this Malick-ian, stream-of-consciousness drama. The actors draw me in with their honest portrayals; and the camera pulls me along with images that can somehow remain both raw/documentary-style, and beautifully cinematic.
I watched this because it was directed by Terrence Malick. You would
think I would have learned by now: of his last two movies, The New
World was so-so and The Tree of Life was pretentious, dull and
drawn-out beyond belief.
Yet I keep hoping he'll snap out of this pretentious phase and go back
to making good movies. His first three movies, Badlands, Days of Heaven
and The Thin Red Line, were great, the latter especially so.
No such luck. To The Wonder is even worse than The Tree of Life. More
pretentious, more pointless and duller.
The one positive thing you can rely on from Malick - the cinematography
- is still there, but that's all. However, it is becoming a crutch. His
method of film-making seems to be: choose a scenic location, film it
from different angles, throw in some people talking and acting
randomly, Viola! we have a movie. Don't worry about plot, theme or even
being coherent, as the critics will swoon at the cinematography and
call the movie "art".
Last time I watch a movie simply because it is directed by Terrence