To the Wonder (2012)

Tatiana: "We need to leave. Both of us. There's something missing."
By Terrence Malick
With Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko

I was actually looking forward to To The Wonder, not sure for what reason as I was not a fan of The Tree of Life (2011). Maybe it was for the cast.

The movie starts in France with a seemingly tourist couple who visit le Mont Saint-Michel. Back in Paris, we realize that the man doesn't speak French and the woman has a 10 year old daughter. They move back to the USA with the man, but without being married and with her visa expiring, the woman has to go back to France.

Well, where do I start? There were a few things that were good in this movie. It is really beautiful and the landscapes are mesmerizing. The actors are good. The music is soothing. Now, that's about it. I now know which was the most boring movie I watched all year and it is, by far, To the Wonder. If I want to see beautiful landscapes I can just watch wildlife documentaries, or even better, Baraka (1992).

There is pretty much no dialogue and I suppose we should just deduce what happens. While I can guess alright, I really didn't feel like it. Initially I was really interested by some of the themes, for example, the young daughter who doesn't know English and has to go to the middle school in the USA. However, none of the interesting topics that could have arisen were dealt with. Instead, I was served with some pseudo-deep lines about love and/or faith. It just sounded cheesy to me. I actually felt like walking out, but didn't since I had to rate it on IMDb. The quote I picked, however, conveys perfectly my feelings about the movie.

Also, I don't know why they decided to have everyone speak in their native language. I can understand how you would have that in a couple from different backgrounds, but was it really necessary to add a Spanish speaking priest and an Italian speaking friend? Did the main woman even understand Italian? The friend was talking to her for a while and she certainly didn't look like she was getting any of it to me. I don't know what the deal was with the priest either, I figured he was there to look out after poor people, just to add to the emotional ending, so people forget that the movie actually had nothing to do with the priest.

Moreover, I was really irritated by how the man cheated on the woman, with a woman he clearly had feelings for and he never told her, yet, when the woman has a purely sexual encounter and she actually admits it, he goes ahead and asks for divorce. Very caveman.

I liked: Looks beautiful. Good cast (even though they don't do much).

I disliked: Trying to cash in on some good shots to make up for a lack of plot and voice over narrative that actually matters.

I don't know, I'd rather watch documentaries.


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