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Knight of Cups 

Wednesday, Mar 9 2016
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Things director Terence Malick likes: floating wide-angle lenses, the magic hour, people gazing at the sunset on the horizon, portentous voiceover narration in lieu of sync sound, a montage style in which sequential shots need not have any kind of thematic unity because they have nothing to do with the aforementioned voiceover, sexy ladies in short see-through dresses, those sexy ladies twirling and frolicking because they represent capital-L Life instead of being characters, alpha-male protagonists who spend a lot of time gazing at said sexy ladies, and mysticism with a dash of third-act Christianity. Did we mention the sexy ladies in see-through clothing who exist for the gaze of the protagonist, and by extension the director? All those things describe Malick's previous film To the Wonder as well as his new Knight of Cups. Here, Christian Bale's handsome Hollywood guy has a vague existential crisis while looking at and/or romping with many sexy ladies, the showbiz milieu allowing for even more sexy ladies than ever. Granted, Imogen Poots' goth makeup may be Malick's greatest visual achievement since Days of Heaven in 1978, and the straight lines of Los Angeles are almost refreshing after decades of nature porn. Otherwise, Knight of Cups is Malick at his most Malick-y, and it's OK if that's not your thing.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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