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To the Wonder 2012

Amazon Video

(64) IMDb 6/10

After falling in love in Paris, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman from his childhood.

Ben Affleck,Olga Kurylenko
1 hour, 52 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Terrence Malick
Starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko
Supporting actors Javier Bardem
Studio Studiocanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Lister on 17 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
This movie has come in for a bit of stick. Some say it’s little more than a series of beautiful perfume ad images strung together with a plaintive voiceover. For me, while it doesn’t rank with Terrence Malick’s best work, it’s hardly shallow. No film that seeks to explore the nature of love could be. But at the other end of the spectrum, there are the claims of “pretentiousness” – which usually means ambitious, moving, divisive, passionate, challenging... All the things love is.

Ben Affleck plays Neil, soulful and practically mute, who brings his wife, Marina (Olga Kurylenko), and her daughter, Tatiana (Tatiana Chiline) from France to live in the US. The adults enjoy playing in the Days of Heaven fields, but the kid hates it. So Marina and Tatiana return home. In Marina’s absence, Neil has a fling with Jane (Rachel McAdams). But then Marina wants back in. Romance blossoms again… and is destined to sour again. And so the cycle goes on. Meanwhile, local priest Father Quintana (Javier Bardem) is questioning his faith. While the lovers’ passion burns bright then dwindles, Quintana’s is already at its lowest ebb, and is gradually rekindled.

In The Tree of Life, Malick charted the lifeline of love, from the birth of empathy to the nuclear family. In To the Wonder, he’s looking at love in the modern context. Quintana finds his faith – the truth of love – in seeking to alleviate the suffering of others. Similarly, Neil and Marina seem forever to be repairing each other with their loving expressions. But what becomes of them when their suffering – their isolation – is fully alleviated? Malick seems to imply that in order for romantic love to be valid, it must paradoxically justify itself by being destructive; hence the ambivalence of the lovers, and their perennial push-and-pull.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 27 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray
In 2011 director Terrence Malick came to my attention when I went to see his film 'The Tree of Life'. It was one an unforgettable cinema experience. A film that was completely different to other films I would usually watch but it was one that I thought about for days. It made me think as well as feel something. When I heard Malick's new film entitled 'To the Wonder' was coming to one of my local cinemas I couldn't wait to watch another unconventional film by him. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes and more!

'To the Wonder' is a beautiful and powerful film by Malick, whose main focus for this film is love and religion. The story follows the ups and downs of the relationship between Neil (Affleck) and Marina (Kurylenko). Neil is an American whilst Marina is a French single mother. They both decide to move to Alabama, where their love for each other begins to fade. During these difficult times Marina comes across a priest (Bardem) who is struggling to have faith in his religion whilst Neil encounters a childhood friend (McAdams) who he begins to have a close bond with.

The script is, for the majority of the time, passionately written. There are a few lines where I found myself slightly confused to what they meant. The lines written along with the beautiful cinematography feels like a collaboration between a poet and a painter. Both different arts interwoven in order to create this effective mise en scene. Though the film concentrates on visuals for the narrative more than dialogue it felt as though the use of physicality through the characters was the dialogue. Malick seems to be one of those directors who believes actions speak louder than words and here he shows that.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hadders on 23 April 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
'To the Wonder'? More like 'To the *Wander*'.

There is little more than a diluted thimble-full of plot to sustain this film, which is chiefly made up of shots of Ben Affleck ceaselessly wandering hither and thither with a troubled, moody expression. The same may be said for other members of the cast, only they say a little more.

Let's be clear - one can present a purposeful plot with impressionistic values - Malick did so with 'The Tree of Life'. It is telling that in 'To the Wonder's credits, the film acknowledges the use of footage from 'The Tree of Life'. In some way, I found this summed up one of 'To the Wonder's flaws: it *feels* like left-over, under-developed ideas, rather than 'The Tree of Life's visionary, operatic scope.

Javier Bardem's Father Quintana is perhaps the most sympathetic character; his inner-conflict underscores the film's principal themes of human bondage and forms of fidelity. But whilst his character is thematically central, he is under-used or otherwise obscured by the less than sympathetic emotional and domestic trials faced by Affleck and Olga Kurylenko.

Unquestionably there is something vital about the film's meditations; it features beautiful photography and expresses moments of real power, but it trades in its convictions concerning these matters for a form of audience participation, wherein the latter are obliged not to do the thinking, but to trek across chasm like gaps in plot with occasional directorial nudges.

Anyone who follows Malick's films will perhaps see visual and thematic links with his earlier 'Days of Heaven', but unfortunately it does not compare. Watch 'To the Wonder' to complete your viewing of Malick's other superior films, but prepare to be let down. A film of occasional magnificence and overwhelming disappointment.
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