When Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder premiered at Venice earlier this year, the reviews weren’t particularly kind. Even fans of Malick’s wildly divisive Tree of Life said that Malick had gone too far this time. Among the most common complaints: The movie only has 5-minutes-worth of dialogue, the entire thing consists of pretty pictures accompanied by a pretentiously written voice-over, the plot is non-existent, the characters are paper thin, Ben Affleck is supposedly the main character and yet he’s only on screen for a few minutes, etc.
Pretty pictures and a pretentiously written voice-over may not be enough to sustain a two-hour-long feature, but they’re certainly enough to sustain a two-minute-long trailer. Even if the movie turns out to be as bad as its critics allege, the trailer is a work of art in its own right. If Malick were to release it as a self-contained short film, it would easily rank among the year’s best.
Hopefully an HD version will pop up soon. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with this low-res, 360p version.
To the Wonder hits theatres April 11.