To the Wonder

by Toby Woollaston

… and to cap off the NZIFF, we finished with Terrence Mallick’s To the Wonder. Ostensibly a film about love, To the Wonder follows Neil (Ben Affleck) and Merina (Olga Kurylenko) struggling with their relationship, cleverly contrasted with Father Quintana (Javier Bardem) struggling with his faith. Shot in a very interesting non-scripted fashion, where the narrative comes from editing patterns more than anything else, perhaps similar in style to Mallick’s previous feature, The Tree of Life, although quite different in content. I really enjoyed this film, it drew me in and I found it quite euphoric in parts, although I can understand criticism aimed at Mallick for visually repeating himself.