1. David Edelstein on Terrence Malick's To The Wonder:

There are critics who’ve greeted Malick’s last few cinematic church services on their knees, and I went into this one with my mind open. But at some point a wind from On High blew it shut. It’s not that the characters’ struggles don’t interest me. You share those struggles, no matter what your faith or lack thereof, if you’re human. The problem is these characters don’t seem human. They’re not people, they’re symbols of people, so the whole thing comes off as generalized, even woozy.
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    David Edelstein on Terrence Malick's To The Wonder:

    There are critics who’ve greeted Malick’s last few cinematic church services on their knees, and I went into this one with my mind open. But at some point a wind from On High blew it shut. It’s not that the characters’ struggles don’t interest me. You share those struggles, no matter what your faith or lack thereof, if you’re human. The problem is these characters don’t seem human. They’re not people, they’re symbols of people, so the whole thing comes off as generalized, even woozy.

  2. Fresh Air

    Reviews

    David Edelstein

    To The Wonder

    Terrence Malick

    Ben Affleck

    Rachel McAdams

  1. To the Wonder at the Toronto International Film Festival

    "That is just Terry’s style.  There is enough footage for 5 other movies in there.”

     ”10 other movies!”

     ”There are many stories he could have told with all the footage he has but this is the one story that he made into the film.”

    — Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams, speaking at the Q & A after the North American premiere of To The Wonder (directed by Terrence Malick), referring to Malick’s unique shooting style. 

    They were the only two on stage to talk about the film, an impressionistic musing of love found and lost.  Neither Malick, who routinely stays out of the public eye, nor Ben Affleck, who was here earlier in the festival with his own film, Argo, were at the premiere.

    To The Wonder premiered at the Venice Film Festival last week to boos from the audience.  Tonight there weren’t boos, but there was certainly a lukewarm response. 

    The film has very little dialogue, and Kurylenko says Malick told her to not say anything during a scene, even if the scene had a few written lines in the script.  The actors were also expected to be ready to be filmed at any point during the shoot.  Kurylenko says Malick threatened to wake her up at 6 am, so she would have to essentially wake up in character. 

    Also missing from the premiere was the only other major cast member, Javier Bardem.  A handful of other actors— Rachel Weisz, Michael Sheen, Barry Pepper, and Amanda Peet— were cut from the film entirely.  Yup, there are at least 10 other movies in there.  Yet I am sure all of them would still have lots of shots of undulating, sun-lit cornfields.

    Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado is writing from the Toronto International Film Festival.

  2. TIFF2012

    To the Wonder

    Ann Marie Baldonado