The first reviews of Terrence Malick’s “To The Wonder” are coming in after the first press screening for the movie earlier today. Only producers Nicolas Gonda and Sarah Green and actresses Romina Mondello and Olga Kurylenk – who is the lead in the movie – attended the photocall, press conference and premiere. Rachel only has a (smaller) supporting role in the movie, she reportedly has only a few minutes of screen time, which was kind of expected since she didn’t spend as much time on set as Kurylenk and Affleck.
This post is a round up of the first reviews, we will update it later on with new ones so keep coming back. The movie will have it’s North American premiere next week (September 10) during the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Neil then rekindles a romance with Jane (a never-better Rachel McAdams), a sylph-like rancher who may have been his childhood sweetheart. This being a Malick film, their dates involve running through the long grass and sharing close encounters with snuffling bison at magic hour on the prairie. At his best, Malick can show you a kind of divinity in the world that we otherwise rarely glimpse, and these scenes, shot with skin-prickling tenderness by Emmanuel Lubezki, positively ache with it.”
“McAdams has the least to do of the principals, but is wonderfully haunted and sad in her brief appearances”
“Affleck is stiff and uncertain, while the casting of Bardem is perplexing. Kurylenko moves with balletic grace while Rachel McAdams registers strongly as a woman living on a ranch who has a fling with Affleck […] For all its foibles, though, To the Wonder is an entrancing film that nobody but Malick could have made.”
“To the Wonder” is structurally a more modest, more linear film than “Tree” — no dinosaurs here, folks, though fans of sea turtles should prick up their ears — but it’s no less vulnerable to charges of excessive preciosity, particularly from those whose secularity applies to churches beyond the House of Malick.
“Neil seeks momentary solace with an old classmate, Jane (Rachel McAdams), inspiring a brief narrative digression in which Malick seems at least as interested in the horses on Jane’s ranch as he is in the woman herself
The beauty of “To the Wonder” is that it sees no contradiction between its characters’ religious beliefs and the universally recognizable stages they go through as a couple: infatuation and love, disillusionment and quarreling, the waning of passion and the lure of temptation. It’s perhaps Malick’s simplest, most relatable evocation yet of paradise lost, and if the helmer can be accused of idealizing his subject, he’s rendered it with a strong sense of emotional stakes.
“At its best, Malick’s cinematic rhapsody is glorious; during his uncertain moments, he appears to be repeating himself. But what delight there is in this film.”
“Rachel McAdams is luminous in Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER; Ben Affleck sullen”
“At 112 minutes Malick’s shortest picture since the 1978 Days of Heaven, To the Wonder could also be called the longest experimental art film ever. This is a test, requiring rapt concentration and acute attention, and repaying a hundredfold. For spectators dulled by the midget movies of an arrtstically timid era, the film may be a chore. For those on Malick’s rarified wavelength, it’s a wonder.”