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Friday, May 12, 2017

Knight Of Cups (2015)

A screenwriter (Christian Bale) in Los Angeles finds his existence empty and to that end, he attempts to connect with another human being in romantic relationships with several women including an ex-wife (Cate Blanchett), a married actress (Natalie Portman), a fashion model (Freida Pinto), a stripper (Teresa Palmer) and a non conformist (Imogen Poots). Written and directed by Terrence Malick. Ever since TREE OF LIFE, Malick has been moving away from the conventional narratives of his earlier films like BADLANDS and DAYS OF HEAVEN. With this film, he seems to be moving even further away from linear story telling toward an almost exclusively abstract visual and aural style which can be extremely frustrating unless you (the viewer) can make a firm commitment to the experience. While I am favorably disposed to the film, I can see that Malick is painting himself into a corner and frankly, he's in a rut. Visually, this is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Almost any random shot by the great Emmanuel Lubezki could be taken and hung in a museum or an art gallery. With the possible exception of Portman, this isn't a film where the acting matters much, they're all pieces for Malick to move around on his cinematic chessboard. In the end, it worked for me and the fragmented piecemeal nature of the film coalesced. With Antonio Banderas, Brian Dennehy, West Bentley, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Wincott, Armin Mueller Stahl (whose big speech I found offensive) and Cherry Jones.  

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