To The Wonder Competition

To The WonderWin a DVD bundle to celebrate the release of Terence Malick’s To The Wonder in cinemas this Friday, 22nd February 2013.

To The Wonder is the latest acclaimed film from Terrence Malick, the legendary director of The Tree of Life, Badlands and Days Of Heaven. The film is centred on Neil (Ben Affleck, Argo), a man who is torn between two loves: Marina (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace), the European woman who comes to United States to be with him, and Jane (Rachel McAdams, Midnight in Paris), the old flame he reconnects with from his hometown. Neil’s doubts about his life and loves are reflected in the crisis of faith experienced by Father Quintana (Javier Bardem, Skyfall), who only sees pain and the loss of hope in the world.

In To The Wonder, Malick explores how love and its many phases and seasons – passion, sympathy, obligation, sorrow, indecision – can transform, destroy, and reinvent lives.

To win a DVD goodie bag courtesy of Studio Canal including Take This Waltz, Searching for Sugar Man and Blue Valentine answer the following question:

Which film did To The Wonder star Ben Affleck recently direct?

1) Fargo

2) Argo

3) Cargo

To enter, send an email to contact@iheartthetalkies.com with the answer, your name and full postal address by 12th March 2013. Please put ‘To The Wonder’ as the subject title.

Terms and Conditions

1. Open to UK residents only.

2. Competition closes at 23.59 on 12th March 2013. Entries received after this time will not be counted.

3. Winners will be selected at random. Successful entrants will be contacted via email by 22nd March 2013. If you do not here from I Heart The Talkies by this time, please assume you have not been successful.

The Tree Trailer

The Tree, not to be confused with The Tree of Life, is out in cinemas on 5th August 2011. The film is based on the novel Oh Father Who Art in the Tree by Judy Pascoe. The film is the second feature from director Julie Bertucelli and stars Charlotte Gainsbourg. From the above trailer, the film looks beautifully shot. Given the themes, it may well be a bit of a weepie…

Film Review: The Tree of Life

Some will be utterly captivated by The Tree of Life. For others, it will be the longest 2 hours 18 minutes of their lives. But most will probably fall somewhere in between these two polemics.

Living with his parents and two younger brothers in 1950s Texas, Jack is on the cusp of adolescence. He has a sometimes difficult relationship with his father, which continues into his adult years. Over the course of time, Jack’s interactions with his parents and his siblings change…

To fully engage with The Tree of Life, an emotional reaction is really required. Without this, it is difficult to become involved with the film. Moreover, Terrence Malick’s film may feel overlong or meandering for those who do not feel an emotional response to it. Nevertheless, Tree of Life has many admirable qualities, which are enough to compensate viewers who do not feel a resonance with the picture.

Malick’s direction is sublime. He appears not to have overlooked a single detail. Every shot is carefully crafted; the care that went into making the film is palpable. Furthermore, with Tree of Life, Malick has extracted great performances from his cast, getting the best out of his actors.

There is something incredibly natural about the family at the centre of the film. Their behaviour, personalities and interactions with one another are completely convincing. The story seems incidental, but only because that is the way it has been fashioned. There is some nice contrasts between the central narrative and the more abstract elements of the film.

Tree of Life is comparable to an exercise in photography. Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki capture some absolutely beautiful imagery. There is a definite sense of awe with the shots of the planet and space. However, the cinematography is just as great in the intimacy with that it creates. Particularly in the scenes of Jack as a toddler and small child, the film produces some wonderful and authentic-looking shots.

Jessica Chastain is fantastic as Jack’s mother. She conveys the warmth of the character well, as well as her ethereal nature. Brad Pitt is also great as Mr O’Brien. His interaction with the boys is wholly believable. Hunter McCracken is excellent as the child Jack, offering an accomplished performance.

The Tree of Life should be seen on the big screen to truly appreciate the magnificent visuals. Those who find resonance in the film will likely be moved. Those who do not may be put off by the glacial pace. Even without a connection to the themes, Malick’s film is a worthwhile endeavour.

The Help Trailer

The Help, based on the best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett, is released on 28th October 2011. I haven’t read the novel as I am allergic to books without illustrations, so I have no idea how the film adaptation will compare. Nonetheless, the film boasts a great cast which includes Emma Stone, Viola Davies and Jessica Chastain, fresh from her terrific performance in The Tree of Life. The trailer looks rather interesting; the film is obviously tackling a serious subject matter, but it seems as if there will also be some humour.