I’m back in The Atlantic today. discussing the new Terrence Malick film, To the Wonder, and why it marks such a dramatic shift from the great director’s earlier work. Here’s a taste:
“Malick seems to have grasped something about a generation of young adults who have not yet grown up. Neil has never learned to control his emotions, and his stoicism is punctuated by fits of rage; Marina’s childishness is at first intoxicating but soon becomes a burden on their relationship. These characters push and pull against each other over the course of the film—and Malick’s camera is in constant motion around them—so that the struggle never ends. As they seek to transcend their material existences—whether by climbing the steps of an ancient monastery or a cheap Oklahoma motel—their perpetual efforts to self-actualize should resonate deeply with a cohort of young Americans struggling to mature in a culture that values youth and an economic system that was broken by their parents’ generation.”
You can read the whole article here.