to the wonder

To the Wonder

Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Olga Kurylenko

Directed by Terrence Malick
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
April 10, 2013

Film genius to miss the mark. Case in point: Terrence Malick's To the Wonder, a beautifully empty exercise that – so glacial is the pace – makes Malick's Tree of Life look like G.I. Joe: Retaliation. As ever, you can't accuse Malick of being plot-heavy. We spot lovers Neil (Ben Affleck) and Marina (Olga Kurylenko) walking the Normandy beach near the monastery of Mont St. Michel. "Love makes us one," she says.

Not exactly. When Neil and Marina, a Ukrainian divorcee who's made her life in Paris, move into Neil's home in Oklahoma, Marina's 10-year-old daughter, Tatiana (Tatiana Chiline), moves in with them. All goes well until it doesn't. Neil is occupied as an environmental inspector. Marina befriends Father Quintana (Javier Bardem), a Catholic priest losing touch with his faith. When Marina returns to Paris, Neil reconnects with Jane (Rachel McAdams), a former love. Everyone seems trapped in a bubble of malaise as they wander landscapes shot as wonders of light and shadow by the gifted Emmanuel Lubezki. Malick keeps pushing Affleck to the corner of the frame, as if he's more interested in the women. I found it difficult to maintain interest in anyone. If there's such a thing as a feather that weighs a ton, it's To the Wonder.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Mariah Carey | 1995

    Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

    More Song Stories entries »