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Especially just a year after the rapturous reception for Tree of Life, it was surprising to see Terrence Malick's follow-up film To The Wonder arrive at the Toronto International Film Festival to near-universal disdain. There were some critics willing to stand behind it, but most people who saw it seemed exhausted by its lack of linear narrative, its reliance on shots of people twirling in grass, and dialogue that led more than a few people to compare it to the writing in Twilight books.
But Terrence Malick remains a master filmmaker, even if everything he makes isn't a masterpiece, and audiences deserve the chance to see his latest for themselves and make up their own minds. So while To The Wonder probably won't get the giant, splashy release that Tree of Life did, it will be coming to theaters-- and quite possibly Video On Demand as well. Magnolia Pictures announced today that they've picked up the US rights to Malick's film, with a 2013 release planned. They also included an official synopsis, which may be a bit more informative than the "Olga Kurylenko twirls in a field" reactions we were getting out of Toronto:
TO THE WONDER tells the story of Marina (Kurylenko) and Neil (Affleck), who meet in France and move to Oklahoma tostart a life together, where problems soon arise. While Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, Neil renews a relationship with a childhood sweetheart, Jane (McAdams). Bold and lyrical,the film is a moving, gorgeously shot exploration of love in its many forms.
It's crazy to see Affleck making a great leap forward as a director with Argo and overshadowing the likes of Malick in the meantime, but that's the kind of festival it was in Toronto this year. I missed To The Wonder while I was up there, so I"m dying to get a look for myself-- even if, sadly, my expectations have been lowered by now.