The early word on Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder is that it will alienate just about everybody—even the most devout Malick acolytes. At the Telluride Film Festival, Ben Affleck said that it makes Tree of Life, Malick’s divisive 2011 art house epic, look like Transformers. When the movie premiered at Venice, most of the critics seemed to side with Affleck. “To The Wonder by Terrence #Malick is nothing more than atrocious left-overs of Tree of Life. Like a big “f** you” to the audience,” one critic Tweeted after the screening. To the Wonder is the only Malick film to hold a negative rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (Its fresh rating currently stands at 41%. Tree of Life, in contrast, holds an 84% fresh rating).
Watching the new clip, it’s hard to understand what everyone’s complaining about. True, it’s only one minute of a 112 minute film, and if the other 111 minutes are also impressionistic hand-held shots of two people walking around aimlessly, I can see how it might get a bit tiresome, but still, it looks absolutely incredible (especially if you adjust the resolution to 1080p).