There’s a little too much wonder and not quite enough story in this middling effort from Terrence Malick. Following on the heels of his acclaimed, hotly debated The Tree of Life, it continues much in the same vein, presenting an intimate family drama in a tone of hushed etherealism, with muted colors and fleet, impressionistic editing. Fortunately, there are no dinosaurs running around this time, but unfortunately, the earlier film’s hard tale of a bitter man and his headstrong son in 1950s Texas has been replaced by a ho-hum contemporary story (Malick’s first ever) about an American (Ben Affleck) who falls for a woman (Olga Kurylenko) in picturesque Mont Saint-Michel, France, and brings her and her young daughter back to live with him in a cookie-cutter subdivision in Oklahoma. Javier Bardem is on hand as a Catholic priest suffering a crisis of faith, though Malick avoids the overt religiosity of The Tree of Life that annoyed so many people. Rachel McAdams costars.
To the Wonder
R • 1 hour 52 min • 2013