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To the Wonder 

Three's a crowd, Javier

click to enlarge wonder.jpg

King of the summer blockbusters, Terrence Malick returns with a vengeance in the broody slab of melancholia, To the Wonder. Olga Kurylenko is a French ex-pat brought to small town America with her precocious daughter by stoic boyfriend Ben Affleck. Under the shadow of her poetic narration, the two struggle to stay together as Affleck becomes drawn to the equally quiet Rachel McAdams. Javier Bardem's all like, "Hey guys!," coming along for the ride as a glaringly out-of-place catholic priest. That's already too much story for this solemn, abstract experiment. Malick is fully embedded here, painting emotions into his scenes from every obtuse angle. The story isn't told through a narrative, so much as clipped scraps of momentum featuring wild tangents followed with reckless confidence. Lingering meditations on the Midwest, suburban banality and a little girl's excitement at a supermarket make all the dour Affleck grimacing worth it. Slightly incomprehensible, kinda funny and undeniably an experience.


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