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Terrence Malick's 'To the Wonder' trailer revels in beauty

December 19, 2012|By Patrick Kevin Day

Director Terrence Malick's new film, coming on the heels of "The Tree of Life," may not be anyone's idea of a light romp at the movies, but based on the just-released trailer, it sure looks good.

The film, which had its North American debut last fall at the Toronto Film Festival, stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem. It tells the story of an American man (Affleck) who embarks on a romance with a French single mother (Kurylenko) and brings her back to his Oklahoma hometown. McAdams plays the small town girl who divides the man's affections, and Bardem plays a priest seeking spiritual fulfillment in a church in the same Oklahoma town.

According to reports from the festival, the film is largely dialogue free. Bardem's narration about love over the trailer is some of the only lines spoken in the film. Instead, Malick attempts to tell his entire story through images and music. And based on the glimpse given in this trailer, those images are quite beautiful indeed.

Although inscrutable storytelling is nothing new for Malick, reaction to the film at Toronto was much more muted than the critical reaction to "Tree of Life." As Steven Zeitchik reported last fall, "There is an over-the-top earnestness to the proceedings that leaves it open to criticism. On others scores, the reaction is puzzling. 'Wonder' has a more conventional narrative structure than 'Tree of Life,' which earned plenty of plaudits."

The film will be released in theaters in early 2013.

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