Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER Leaves Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet on the Cutting Room Floor

by     Posted 2 years, 62 days ago

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If you’ve got a recognizable name like the folks pictured above, you’d think that once you sign onto a project, you can expect to see your face on the big screen.  That’s not the case when Terrence Malick is the director.  Although Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Amanda Peet and Michael Sheen all filmed scenes for the Badlands director’s film, To the Wonder, all of them were left on the cutting room floor. The film screens this coming Sunday at the Venice Film Festival before moving on to TIFF next week.  Hit the jump for why the actors’ scenes were cut and who is left in the finished film.

terrence-malick-to-the-wonderDeadline reports that Weisz, Pepper, Peet and Sheen all occupied small roles in minor parts of the film’s main storyline. Malick is known for shooting excessive footage which he later excises to trim down to his desired final cut.  In the words of one of the film’s insiders:

“It’s just the way Terry works; it’s not a reflection on anything other than the story.”

The actors are clearly aware of this risk as well, as Weisz was informed that her part would likely be cut, but was happy just to have the experience of working with Malick.

To the Wonder stars Ben Affleck as a player who seduces a European woman (Olga Kurylenko) while in Paris, and who he marries when he returns with her to Oklahoma.  As their relationship sours, he takes comfort in a childhood friend (Rachel McAdams) and a religious exile (Javier Bardem).

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  • tarek

    I watched yesterday Tree of Life. what a pretentious and boring movie!!

    • Bryce Forestieri

      LOL

    • Dylan Cuellar

      I happen to love Tree of Life. I guess you just have to like that kinda stuff though.

      • Dobby

        When I saw tree of life, I felt lIke I was really watching the history of the universe. In real time.

    • stove

      Malick made a movie viewing experience not seen much in popular film since 2001(space odyssey). Tree of Life is an emotional viewing experience. The viewer is not necessarily suppose to be viewing the movie with their thinking cap, instead Malick has made a visual painting meant to be watched through an emotional lens, Kubrick said the same must be done with his own 2001. To judge a movie only one way or the other is the systemic problem of the particular viewer not the filmmaker (except Brett Ratner, we want the real X-Men 3, not that cruel joke you called a finale,). Films are able to divulge multiple meanings through multiple viewings. (Seen X-Men 3 five times, still cant figure out why Magneto is a free man at the end, it’d be like letting go Stalin cause he shaved his mustache) A movie about the beauty and complexity of life and it’s further existential questions is not ever gonna be a Die Hard type of movie with a Die Hard style of pacing, yet both are considerably worth the time… and multiple viewings.

    • stove

      Malick made a movie viewing experience not seen much in popular film since 2001(space odyssey). Tree of Life is an emotional viewing experience. The viewer is not necessarily suppose to be viewing the movie with their thinking cap, instead Malick has made a visual painting meant to be watched through an emotional lens, Kubrick said the same must be done with his own 2001. To judge a movie only one way or the other is the systemic problem of the particular viewer not the filmmaker (except Brett Ratner, we want the real X-Men 3, not that cruel joke you called a finale,). Films are able to divulge multiple meanings through multiple viewings. (Seen X-Men 3 five times, still cant figure out why Magneto is a free man at the end, it\’d be like letting go Stalin cause he shaved his mustache) A movie about the beauty and complexity of life and it’s further existential questions is not ever gonna be a Die Hard type of movie with a Die Hard style of pacing, yet both are considerably worth the time… and multiple viewings.

  • Matt

    I can’t understand people who say Tree of Life is pretentious. It’s one thing if you don’t enjoy the movie or get anything out of it. But what about it is pretentious? It’s someone making a movie. I think Malick has proven the last thing he is pretentious. He honestly makes the movies he wants to make. To be pretentious implies an inherent desire to confound and appear superior. I really never felt that way about Tree of LIfe. Its visually stunning and although it doesn’t really offer a linear narrative, as a reflection on life and loss its arresting.

    I’m looking forward to this film and the other two he has in the pipeline.

  • Matt

    I can\’t understand people who say Tree of Life is pretentious. It\’s one thing if you don\’t enjoy the movie or get anything out of it. But what about it is pretentious? It\’s someone making a movie. I think Malick has proven the last thing he is pretentious. He honestly makes the movies he wants to make. To be pretentious implies an inherent desire to confound and appear superior. I really never felt that way about Tree of LIfe. Its visually stunning and although it doesn\’t really offer a linear narrative, as a reflection on life and loss its arresting.

    I\’m looking forward to this film and the other two he has in the pipeline.

  • jordan

    tree of life is one of my all time favs. i guess pretentious is subjective. i hate all wes anderson because his films feel pretentious to me, but it doenst mean others feel the same.
    anyway, criticisms stick better when they are leveled on something other than opinions…

    • Dobby

      I don’t like his pretentious beard.

  • John

    Must be nice to just shoot a bunch of footage and then decide not to use it. Apparently this is a recurring issue (if you see it that way) with Malick’s films, all the way back to Thin Red Line.

    As I viewer, I have no problem with Malick’s method. And I’d imagine many filmmakers would love the opportunity to be able to over-shoot everything and then have the freedom to make the major decisions in post.

    But the actors probably don’t appreciate being cut out of the movie after all the work they put into it.

  • Dobby

    Terrence Malik is the most overrated, pretentious director in the history of the universe, and warrants this equally pretentious comment. Oh. And you need to read this over and over for at least five hours.

    • stove

      troll, Three comments saying the same thing, “hate, hate, hate” It’s cool dude, we get it. But it would be a little more interesting to hear a constructive negative comment filled with reasons rather than one made with little forethought. Idly repeating the same opinion you dislike with sarcasm isn’t clever, it’s pedantic and only impairs your view point to be heard by others, which is not what you want right? If a civil debate of two opposing views is not what you are trying to inspire, than all those comments saying the same, negative, ostentatious words over and over makes you seem like kind of a troll.

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  • ISeemToBeAVerb

    Pretentious? Hmmmm…
    Meditative and deliberately paced? Yeah. Abstruse and perhaps obtuse? More than most, I must say. Bold, beautiful and brilliant? Yes, yes and YES!
    But pretentious? Not in my humble opinion.

    Malick is certainly not for every taste but come on folks! The Thin Red Line even had ‘splosions!

    Also, I see I’m not the only one having problems posting here.

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