Not Buying It

Apart from noting that four costars in Terrence Malick‘s To The WonderRachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet — have been cut out of the final version, Deadline‘s Nancy Tartaglione is reporting from the Venice Film Festival that the film, due to screen on Sunday, “more closely resembles Badlands rather than, say, Tree of Life.”

This, at least, is what Tartaglione “understand[s]” from having spoken to some buyer or distributor or tipster of some kind.

If To The Wonder was some kind of substantive cousin of Badlands, which some contend is Malick’s best film ever, some kind of buzz to this effect would have surely seeped through by now. I’m not going to say any more except that I’m highly suspicious of this analogy.

What I don’t understand is why the headline for Tartaglione’s story states that “Terrence Malick Leaves Venice.” The story makes no mention of Malick having arrived in Venice in either a literal or metaphorical sense, and certainly no mention of his having left it.

25 thoughts on “Not Buying It

  1. Eloi Wrath on said:

    Earlier reports indicated that it was more like The Tree of Life, and the TIFF write up (presumably written by someone who’s actually seen it) seems to confirm that: http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiff/2012/tothewonder

    The headline makes no sense at all. You get the feeling it should be “Venice: Terrence Malick Leaves Rachel Weisz…” etc.

  2. You hear stuff like this and can’t help but think back to that Vanity Fair article you posted. There’s clearly some form of untreated life long mental illness going on here. His inability to make decisions, obsessively searching for unobtainable perfection, wasting money and people in the name of “Art” just feels sociopathic at this point. He’s looking more and more like a fraud as the years go by. And his enablers will just excuse him and say “That’s just Terry being Terry”.

  3. roland: What an absurd stretch. Sounds like something The Onion would print. “Man diagnosed with mental illness after cutting Amanda Peet scenes from film.”

  4. By the time the film airs, we’ll be lucky if he even leaves in the credits…my guess is that even if the screen were to remain black, Terrence Malick fanboys would praise it as art. F*ckers…

  5. Malick needs to get some treatment before he makes another film that winds up receiving the highest critical praise of any release that year, or a another Best Picture/Best Director nomination.

    It’s crazy that some of Hollywood’s best and biggest actors are lining up to work with him. I sure hope Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling, etc. realize what they’re getting into!

  6. Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet probably had about as much screen time as Joanna Going in TREE OF LIFE, or even worse, David Bowie in TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, and Malick looked at the cut of the film with these people still in it and said “Fuck it…this time I’ll just take them out.”

  7. All these actors know what they’re getting into with Malick. By all accounts Sheen only showed up on set because he’s dating McAdams, and Malick just turned the camera on him for a few scenes just to see what it’d be like. He probably didn’t have a character as written in the script.

  8. Random aside, but Barry Pepper seems like an awesome actor. I’d like to see him get a great part. One of the best acting jobs in an otherwise shitty movie in the past decade was his work in SEVEN POUNDS, I thought he was just outstanding in that movie.

  9. “Can they cut Rachel Weisz out of everything?”

    Having just finally seen The Bourne Legacy, this comment is amusing as I thought she practically saved that film from being completely tedious and inert. I realize Weisz is like poison to Lex–brunette, busty, Jewish–but she held my attention both with her performance and her pulchritude in a way nothing else in Bourne Legacy did.

    Breedlove, good call on Barry Pepper. Would love to see him get a role on the caliber of Killer Joe or something like that in the near future. Speaking of which, I think Jeff owes Matthew McConaughey a reappraisal if he hasn’t delivered one yet. From Tropic Thunder to Lincoln Lawyer to Bernie to Killer Joe, the guy’s been in quite the groove the last few years and he does bring a depth and heft that, admittedly, may not have been completely “there” yet a long time ago.

  10. “Weisz is like poison to Lex–brunette, busty, Jewish…”

    WTF? Like 90% of my “hot list” is Jewish. Barking up the WAY wrong tree on that one. But I will say if I were Renner and I just inherited my own king-dick A-LIST FRANCHISE, I’d be rubbing my hands GIDDY IN ANTICIPATION as to who my leading lady would be. Portman? Kunis? Johansson? K-Stew? Moretz? Fox?

    Then they’d wheel out Rachel Weisz from 1996 and I’d be like, SERIOUSLY?

  11. Barry Pepper in 25TH HOUR is the greatest shit ever, especially that part in Norton spiel about Pepper hitting on his girl, cue this AWESOME AS FUCK shot of Pepper in The Club with a big-ass Humpty Hump stogie, hair standing on end shaking and twitching ogling Naturelle’s ass.

  12. You know, I stared at my comment realizing something was wrong with it, and a few minutes after departing the thread, I realized it was including “Jewish” as being poisonous to you, Lex. My apologies.

  13. All these actors know what they’re getting into with Malick. By all accounts Sheen only showed up on set because he’s dating McAdams, and Malick just turned the camera on him for a few scenes just to see what it’d be like. He probably didn’t have a character as written in the script.

    no, it’s clear from my vantage point as a guy on the internet that Malick is a headcase who just casts and cuts these actors out of pathological fear of commitment and a strong sadistic streak, just like that famously sociopathic Wong Kar-wai

  14. As someone said, it’s rumored to be more radical than Tree of Life. It’s also rumored to be racy with sex scenes. It’s also rumored to be “ridiculously good.”

  15. It’s been noted on the IMDB board. SOmeone told someone with aTwitter account that ended up being discussed over there.. But that’s the rumor.

  16. I don’t really buy the Badlands analogy either, also from the more general observation being that it can mean variety of “idiosyncratic particularities” depending on who’s making the comparison, and that one wouldn’t necessarily see the same connections here. Most of all though I believe Malick’s structural developements and thematic prevalence(or at least the way he portrays them) since Badlands have veered off(not off-course) in a way too fundamental to warrant any immediate comparison, or so I’m guessing. Late Sunday(local European time) we’ll have a better bearing…

  17. However, perhaps the “more closely resembles Badlands rather than, say, Tree of Life.“-remark is in reference to the, according to and in the words of Emmanuel Lubezki, “The movie is completely different .. it’s a simpler movie, it’s a simpler story ..”(than The Tree of Life), which could in some ways lead a comparative note to Malick’s first full-feature effort – at least in whatever way one would draw from it(i.e.: Badlands) simplicity or even “economical” tendencies..

    (from the 5:20 mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fwVBdGo5lQ

  18. “By the way, heard through the vine of someone who is a diehard Malick person that TO THE WONDER is ridiculously good, so there’s that.”

    Sounds like someone trying to hype something. I think i will wait for some legitimate word of mouth.

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