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Neil is an American traveling in Europe who meets and falls in love with Marina, an Ukrainian divorcee 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. After a holding pattern, their relationship cools. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good There will be many who find "To the Wonder" elusive and too effervescent. They'll be dissatisfied by a film that would rather evoke than supply. I understand that, and I think Terrence Malick does, too. But here he has attempted to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need.
USA TodayFull Review Below Average Never was a film so visually stunning and so intolerable as To the Wonder.
Washington PostFull Review Below Average It's just a shame that, after a while, Malick's meditation on the human condition starts to feel like a reminder of how uncomfortable theater seats can be.
NY PostFull Review Good A Malick film, to be only slightly reductive, means lots of wafting through tall grasses bemoaning the mysterious, beautiful sadness of it all.
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Neil (Ben Affleck) is an American traveling in Europe who meets and falls in love with Marina (Olga Kurylenko), an Ukrainian divorcee 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. Gripped by a sense of responsibility -- and his own crisis of faith -- he rekindles with Marina after another trip to France. She returns with him to Oklahoma, resuming her American life. But the old sorrows eventually return.
Written and directed by Terrence Malick, TO THE WONDER is a romantic drama about men and women grappling with love and its many phases and seasons -- passion, sympathy, obligation, sorrow and indecision -- and the way these forces merge together and drift apart, transforming, destroying and reinventing the lives they touch.