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To the Wonder (2012)

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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Tatiana Chiline ...
Tatiana
...
Tony O'Gans ...
Sexton
...
Carpenter
...
Bob
Casey Williams ...
Neighbor #1
Jack Hines ...
Neighbor #2
Paris Always ...
Classmate #1
Samaria Folks ...
Classmate #2
Jamie Conner ...
Teenage Girl with Baby
Francis Gardner ...
Woman at Wedding
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Storyline

Neil (Ben Affleck) is an American traveling in Europe who meets and falls in love with Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a Ukrainian divorcée who is raising her 10-year-old daughter Tatiana in Paris. The lovers travel to Mont St. Michel, the island abbey off the coast of Normandy, basking in the wonder of their newfound romance. Neil makes a commitment to Marina, inviting her to relocate to his native Oklahoma with Tatiana. He takes a job as an environmental inspector and Marina settles into her new life in America with passion and vigor. After a holding pattern, their relationship cools. Marina finds solace in the company of another exile, the Catholic priest Father Quintana (Javier Bardem), who is undergoing a crisis of faith. Work pressures and increasing doubt pull Neil further apart from Marina, who returns to France with Tatiana when her visa expires. Neil reconnects with Jane (Rachel McAdams), an old flame. They fall in love until Neil learns that Marina has fallen on hard times. ... Written by Magnolia Pictures

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Drama | Romance

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Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

22 February 2013 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Project B  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$116,551 (USA) (14 April 2013)

Gross:

$586,293 (USA) (7 July 2013)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"I sometimes wondered if my character was really there. Some days you could spiral off that way because even the shooting was so freeform. Maybe I'm just something Ben's character imagined." - Rachel McAdams on her character in To The Wonder See more »

Goofs

When Jane and Neil get out of their car in the midst of the bison, cameras reflected in the car windows and doors in various shots. See more »

Quotes

Marina: Love that loves us... thank you.
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Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode dated 20 February 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Prophecy of the Village Kremna
Written and Performed by Arsenije Jovanovic
Courtesy of Arsenije Jovanovic
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User Reviews

 
Write on Water
3 May 2013 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Director Terrence Malick makes films that typically fall into the "love it or hate it" genre. He has a very loyal group of fans (of which I am one) who appreciate the unique mental and emotional ride that his projects provide. To say that his films are not accessible is understandable. His objective is to challenge you to access your own beliefs and thoughts, rather than the characters in his movies ... they are simply the tools he uses.

Less than two years ago, I was struggling to put thoughts into words after watching Malick's The Tree of Life. Now, in record time for him, he releases another film that is even more impressionistic ... actually abstract is not too strong a description. The usual Malick elements are present - nature, uncomfortable relationships, minimal dialogue, breathtaking photography, and powerful music. Where The Tree of Life focused on Creation and Family, this latest takes on Love and Faith.

Water imagery is a frequent key as we see the personal relationship mimic the changing of the seasons. Neil (Ben Affleck), an American visiting Paris, meets and falls for Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a free-spirited local filled with light and energy. Their love affair moves to the stunning Mont Saint-Michel before settling in the drab plains of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

It's not surprising that the relationship suffers as the newness wears thin. The interesting part is how Malick presents it. We mostly witness bits and pieces ... he shows us moments, not events. We easily see that Neil's aloofness and sullen looks don't jibe with Marina's effervescence. When she returns to Paris, Neil easily falls in with an old flame played by Rachel McAdams. When she later accuses him of making what they had "nothing", we all understand what she means ... and why.

While Neil is proving what a lost soul he is, we also meet Father Quintana (Javier Bardem). He has lost the light of his faith and is in full crisis mode, even as he attempts to console and guide Marina. There is no secret that much of this film is autobiographical and that Malick is working through wounds he still carries these many years later. As a movie-goer, there is little to be gained from Alleck's disconnected character or from Kurylenko dancing in the rain. The real prize is awakening the thoughts and feelings many of us probably buried over the years to hide emotional pain. Malick seems to be saying that it's OK to acknowledge your foundation, regardless of your ability to succeed in a socially acceptable manner.

If you prefer not to dig so deep emotionally, this is a beautiful film to look at - thanks to Director of Photograpy Emmanuel Lubezki (a frequent Malick collaborator), and listen to - a blended soundtrack with many notable pieces from various composers. While this will be remembered as Roger Ebert's final movie review (he liked it very much), it will likely have very little appeal to the average movie watcher - and I'm confident that Terrence Malick is fine with that.


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