December 19, 2012

Terrence Malick never met a field of grain he didn’t like to shoot in for several weeks at a time. The trailer for his newest movie, To the Wonder, reveals about what you’d expect following advance reports that he’d decided to edit out a bunch of the actors who’d originally been announced as part of the action. There are those fields of grain, and an elegiac voiceover about the experience of loving, and quick cuts of a sun-dappled Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams frolicking about in a beautiful, doomed manner. (Also: Javier Bardem as a priest.) There’s so much nature, along with wildly ecstatic endorsements proclaiming things like “a film of tender, often rapturous beauty.”

Which, duh: It’s Malick, who’s made a recent career out of casting big box office draws in his meditative New Age koans in order to eventually befuddle the middle Americans heading to the theater without checking a review. “Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams star in new romantic drama” could draw hundreds of thousands of moviegoers, not just the ones ready and willing to sit through three hours of trees. But obviously, I’m into it because I love feeling sad in dark rooms. It’s out on April 12.

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