“A rambling disappointment...” Immensely vague, abstract almost. Virtually every scene is shot during that "magic hour" before sunset using constantly moving, handheld cameras, making everything golden and entrancing...
“An achingly plotless script...” The cloying, bliss-out pantheism that featured in The Tree of Life is virtually the only feature in Malick’s new film. For two hours Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko, lovers home-making in Oklahoma drift and prance about the landscape...
“Everything seems oblique, provisional, muffled...” To the Wonder is something of a climbdown from the thin air of his previous, The Tree of Life, but it's absolutely characteristic in its style: the gnomic voiceovers, the desultory edits, the undramatised vagueness...
The Arts Desk
“It starts to feel like a fairly turgid story of relationship discord...” A lesser Malick is nevertheless still a Malick and this is stunningly sensual, emotionally investigative filmmaking, which is never less than visually buoyant. However, in To the Wonder the magic doesn't quite last the duration...
Little White Lies
“Don't believe the anti-hype...” Its utter earnestness leaves it wide open to criticism, but to bemoan the superficial quality of the performances, the script or the story would be to miss the point of the film entirely. Malick doesn’t make films anymore. He builds cathedrals...
“One thing’s for certain: even for Malick, this is frontier filmmaking...” More about mood and moments than plot beats and character arcs, this voiceover-driven tale feels so personal you almost feel guilty watching it, like we’re eavesdropping on the most intimate of exchanges.
“There’s a phoniness to the film’s people and places... ” Big events are buried or over quickly and we observe snippets of life from Malick’s perspective as a benign stalker. Repetition and an over-familiarity of Malick’s visual tics and style begin to grate...
“It’s a triumph of the un-ironic, life and love through different eyes... ” Less ambitious than The Tree Of Life, To The Wonder remains 100 per cent pure, unadulterated Malick, an absorbing, thoughtful, moving meditation on the things that matter...
“Tender, often rapturous beauty...” You have to accept Malick on his own terms, and for those who do, To The Wonder will feel like a tall pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea on a hot summer’s day: glistening, sweet and restorative...
“At its best, Malick's cinematic rhapsody is glorious...” A love affair doomed to failure, or at any rate doomed never quite to succeed. Ben Affleck is Neil, a stolid, handsome American engineer who has a passionate relationship in Paris with Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a sensual free spirit...