Director Terrence Malick is known for tugging at heartstrings with his humanist cinematic prose, and it looks like he's put together some more that existential magic with his newest pic, "To the Wonder."
The first trailer for the film rings a familiar bell for those of us who watched his poetic "Tree of Life" last year. Only, rather than utilizing dinosaurs and the cosmos to illustrate the frailty of life, he's employed the use of vast open fields and a multitude of close-ups to intimate the theme of love and all its forms.
The story centers around Neil (Ben Affleck), a man who reconnects with a childhood friend named Jane (Rachel McAdams) after he and his wife Marina (Olga Kurylenko) suffer some marital woes on their visit to Oklahoma. Marina, meanwhile, gets friendly with a priest (Javier Bardem) who's beginning to doubt his own vows.
Lots of running, kissing, crying and farm animals accompany Bardem's voiceover speech which declares, "You shall love. Whether you like it or not. Emotions, they come and go like clouds. Love is not only a feeling. You shall love. To love is to run the risk of failure, the risk of betrayal, you fear your love has died. It is perhaps waiting to be transformed into something higher. Awaken the divine presence which sleeps in each man, each woman. Know eachother in that love it never changes."
"To the Wonder" debuted at this year's Toronto International Film Festival and will land in theaters on April 12, 2013. Better bring tissues.