after the tedium that was Knight of Cups I took his next one off, but this is absolutely a return to form, his best movie since The Tree of Life or perhaps even The Thin Red Line (although I really like TTOL myself). It's shot in his idiosyncratic evanescent style and makes great use of the beautiful Alps scenery. The film stays focused on the two main characters, giving it a sturdy base that really helps the story land. Those actors (August Diehl, Valerie Pachner) are really good, but the decision to have the main parts speak English while background stuff is in German is an astounding head-scratcher, especially since the vast majority of the actors are German speakers. I'm fairly certain the audience for a Malick movie wouldn't have an issue with reading subtitles, but maybe he wanted it to be in English to make things on the shoot easier? Or maybe Matthias Schoenaerts, who shows up for a bit, didn't feel like German lessons.
Anyway, I thought the story was very topical and thoughtfully handled, and the cinematography (Jorg Widmer) alone is reason to see it but I guess that's always somewhat true of a Malick movie.
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2. "probably his most beautifully shot movie." In response to Reply # 0
>Anyway, I thought the story was very topical and thoughtfully >handled
extremely relevant today (really every day). despite the long length, the narrative is super direct, and paced for meditation.
>the cinematography (Jorg Widmer) alone is reason >to see it
I'm a Malick stan, but he really outdid himself here. the way every scene is framed is gorgeous. when Franz gets called to duty and he's talking to his mother outside, with the perfectly overcast and slightly windy weather? so much of that throughout the entire film.
>after the tedium that was Knight of Cups
I liked Knight of Cups. more so than Song to Song, for whatever that's worth. did not care for To The Wonder (which is the only Malick film I really don't like).