The only thing left for me to ponder in Terence Malick’s latest meditation on preponderance, To The Wonder (a contemporary love story of an Okie and a Eurotrashy ditz with happy feet from Paris), is where exactly in France is that fairytale castle surrounded by mushy sandy waters? And why the fuck would they settle down in the badlands of Oklahoma instead?
Well, turns out that castle is Mont Saint-Michel, in the lower region of Normandy that dates back to the 10th century. But as far as to why they (or anyone for that matter) would want to live in a newly built two story house in Oklahoma without a fucking washer and dryer? Golly, I still couldn’t tell you. And that’s probably the most enduring mystery of the film. If I had to guess, it had something to do with Ben Affleck’s job there – walking around with a picnic cooler surveying the land for god knows what when he’s not busy chasing his wife (Olga Kurylenko) through wheat fields and smelling buffalo chips. Which is probably why everyone is so loopy and dizzy and suffers from lymes disease. That being said – as if we didn’t already know Olga is not the greatest actress, we now know she sure shit can’t fucking dance either. And while Ben may not be the greatest dancer he sure shit can’t fucking act without his beard – besides the scene where he wears a lampshade on his head. To be fair, Malick finds more poetry in the visual silence of sheer curtains blowing in the wind and adults jumping up and down on beds then good old fashion dialogue.
After watching those boring ass lovebirds, Rachel McAdams is definitely a breath of fresh air as she radiates like she were in a Carhartt/Sundance catalogue, unconvincingly playing a ranch handler with not a speck of dirt or grime on her. Still, not a bad rebound for Ben.
As for priest Javier Bardem – he is either mumbling to himself or to Jesus. I’m not really sure. But the scene when Olga goes to him for confession is truly a revelation, in that it’s so private that there’s no way I could tell you what was revealed and neither could Malick. You just have to go see the movie yourself to come up with your own conclusions but I’m telling y’all right now your time will be better spent at the local laundromat instead of watching them do theirs.
Considering Roger Ebert gave this a thumbs up you have to wonder if he knew this was likely his last review and therefore took comfort in the Javier’s sermon of “God to the left, God to the right…” – whereas I’d have to give it a thumbs down because all I see are clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right and here I am stuck in the middle. But till then Roger, please save me an aisle seat…
(Tender is the Night)
Way back in Woody’s 1979 Manhattan he played a writer who “longed to be an artist but balked at the necessary sacrifices” whereas now Owen Wilson has the aid of a 1920’s Peugeot equipped with a Flux Capacitor to gain artistic insight and inspiration from a bygone era. Charmed with it’s wit and fantasy the reality is that Woody’s gone soft in his latest 2011’s Midnight in Paris where renowned artists and writers are pontificating and spitting on Gil’s (Owen) neck leaving him pussy whipped not only in the past but in the present and future as well. Perhaps this is why Van Gogh never makes an appearance, an ear is too great a sacrifice as Owen won’t even consider a nose job.
The Woodman has often been criticized for rehashing his old bits and in his latest it is no different. Though I do enjoy the fresh cast and was reminded of the charming Owen pre Dupree and was surprised to find Rachel McAdams a likable bitch. Unlike The Purple Rose of Cairo, the bridge between reality vs. fantasy is blurred by the end of the picture and while McAdams and Sheen do hook up in real life, we leave the theater feeling nostalgic, not just for the city of lights of the 20’s or Belle Epoque, but for the whole tragic comedy of life. But I was feeling more nostalgic for his earlier funnier movies and was hoping that amongst Hemmingway, Zelda and Scott, that Zelig would drop by too.
First was Basil Rathbone then Jeremy Brett starring as Sherlock Holmes and now, “Why?” you ask has our famous tall and imposing Holmes turned midget to Robert Downey Jr? One can only deduct the reasoning behind this casting in the upcoming movie version Directed by Brit Tarantino, Guy Ritchie a.k.a. Mr. Madonna is that Holmes often used morphine, cocaine, and opium – only he was clever enough not to get caught.
Another uninspired choice of casting is that of Dr. Watson, debatable stud and notably lean, Jude Law. At least he’s British. But what really puts a damper on this classic buddy duo is the added love interest Rachel McAdams, who plays Irene Adler, a minor character that showed up in only one story, A Scandal in Bohemia.
Slated for a 2010 release by Warner Bros. Ritchie says “It will be a very big production, visceral and intellectual. His brilliance will percolate into the action.” Given that statement this movie will be quite a change for him and also for Producer and first time Writer, Lionel Wigram, who has yet to finish his comic book version of Sherlock to be adapted. But given his past producing credentials, Cool as Ice and August Rush, this movie looks to offend the Sherlockians and cater to the Grand Theft Auto and A.D.D. fans. The anticipation of Downey uttering Holmes famous catch line, “That’s elementary my dear Watson,” to Jude makes me cringe – At least Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell will bare some resemblance to the original in their mockery.
I just hope Ritchie’s gap tooth Wife doesn’t provide the soundtrack too because we all know who wears the pants in this relationship.