Movies

Review: Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups Poster

Terrence Malick is a director’s director and an art film icon. He doesn’t make movies so much as he creates long gorgeous slideshows to music and a little dialogue. He attracts great acting talent. He wins awards.  And people walk out of his movies and sometimes ask for their money back.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It’s like walking through a museum and focusing on a collection of masterpieces from one period, and being infused by the spirit of that time.[/pullquote]

As with most “art” films, it helps to know in advance that the director is a stylist. I have heard his work referred to as “impressionistic.”

That description comes close. It’s like walking through a museum and focusing on a collection of masterpieces from one period, and being infused by the spirit of that time.

This film delivers a sense of the life of the main character played by Christian Bale. It seems more a raft than a life: the water is never far away and it has a hold on him.

In Knight of Cups, you have Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy and others to fill a strong cast. The setting is Los Angeles and it follows a period of time in the life of a scriptwriter, with scenes alternating and contrasting between the desert and the ocean, between Hollywood parties and seedy LA neighborhoods, and between lusty encounters and affairs of the heart.

The cinematography is superb, the acting is intense, and you can say you supported the Arts when it’s over—because it is High Art. But Malick’s films, like High Art, are not for everyone.

 

WH

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