Review by Bob Ignizio
Generally speaking an artist should follow their muse wherever it may lead. In the case of director Terrence Malick, however, his muse seems to have led him straight up his own posterior. There's a fine line between rich, complex, and challenging works like Malick's DAYS OF HEAVEN, THE THIN RED LINE, and THE NEW WORLD, and utter self-indulgent pretentiousness. It's a line Malick first crossed for me in his previous film, 2011's THE TREE OF LIFE. He crosses it again, and even more egregiously, in TO THE WONDER.
The film begins with impressionistic images of Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck), a couple who have just met and fallen in love. Over the visuals, Marina offers breathy narration in French in which she says things like, “love makes us one, I in you, you in me.” The relationship progresses, and eventually Marina and her daughter Tatiana (Tatiana Chilline) come to live in Oklahoma with Neil. Things seem to be going well, but Tatiana senses that something is missing.