To the Wonder
To the Wonder

Film Review

Film title
To the Wonder
Terrence Malick
Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem
Release date
17 Jun

More info

Released on DVD and Blu-ray by StudioCanal

To the Wonder

2/5 stars
Film review by Keir Roper-Caldbeck.
Published 09 June 2013

The golden hour, that hour before sunset when the humdrum world is transformed by the warm, suffuse light of the dipping sun, has long been a favourite of Terrence Malick, and he leans heavily on its enchanting effect to create the breathtaking images that fill To the Wonder, his story of a cross-cultural romance between the old world and the new.

But the golden hour depends for its magic on its contrast to the other 23 hours of the day; used exclusively, its honeyed glow becomes saccharine. And this is something that Malick has forgotten. His camera moves ceaselessly, on a constant search for the next beautiful image, never deigning to block a scene out dramatically. Dialogue is reduced to impressionistic snatches and self-consciously poetic voice-over; the impressive cast have nothing much to do but exchange meaningful looks through windblown hair. Without contrast, all that beauty becomes as tiresome as a feature length perfume ad. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]