TO THE WONDER (2013, Terrence Malick): 6/10
After DAYS OF HEAVEN, it took Malick 20 years to make his next film, THE THIN RED LINE, which is his masterpiece to date and one of the — if not THE — greatest American film(s) of all time. After THE TREE OF LIFE, it took about a year and change to make TO THE WONDER. In a way, you get what you pay for.
TO THE WONDER stars Olga Kurylenko as a mentally ill French woman who goes about her life without psychiatric help — save for one quick scene where we see she has prescription medicine (which we only see her take when she tries to swallow the whole bottle during a lovers’ quarrel) — and pretty much just spins around through nature, licking trees and swinging her arms up and around like a child. Her boyfriend, Ben Affleck, is attracted to this child-trapped-in-a-hot-adult-model’s-body, probably because he carries a torch for another girl he knew as a child (Rachel McAdams), who likes hanging out with water buffalo. Obviously this romance cannot last, and as soon as she entered the picture, McAdams is gone.
Much like Affleck spends his days caring for Kurylenko, priest Javier Bardem cares for people who are actually sick and dying. Both he and Affleck are looking for love, evidently in all the wrong places. But after one too many fights inside a house or under water in a swimming pool, Kurylenko leaves Affleck to have an affair in a hotel room, which pisses off Affleck so much he smashes the side view mirror of his truck. This drives Kurylenko to lick more trees and step gingerly in puddles.
TO THE WONDER is also the fifth Malick film in a row, I believe, where he has asked, through voiceover, “What is this love that loves us?” Oh well, as soon as he gets some new ideas, as long as he has Emmanuel Lubezki around to film them, I’ll be there.