To follow up my review of SBIFF’s first film, The Little Prince, I’ll be reviewing the Centerpiece film of the festival, Knight of Cups. This surreal drama, directed by Terrence Malick was a highly anticipated follow up to his previous film, “The Tree of Life”. Knight of Cups would also be his second collaboration with cinematographer Emmaneul Lubezki (Birdman, The Revenant) one of the top artists in his field.
The movie began with some vague, but beautiful sequences of southern Cailfornia, then ended. The film felt as though it had been directed by the cinematographer. The film starred Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, yet they all managed to deliver uninteresting performances. These are three of the finest actors currently working but there didn’t seem to be a single defining trait about any of them. The entire film was spent following the protagonist (Bale) around Los Angeles and for a brief moment, Las Vegas. The viewer seems to hover around Bale while he attends lavished parties and sleeps with models. The camera has an omniscient presence, floating through the Hollywood Hills and down the Santa Monica pier, with some phenomenal shot, but most seemed to lack in any significance. At no point during the film did its motives become clear, just a vague story floating around At a few moments in the film Bale has some conflict with his family, which I’d hoped would give me some insight into the character’s background. But Bale was practically silent the entire film.
I’d be interested to hear Malick’s reasoning for this, and many of his other bizarre choices. Overall: Light 6. It was an interesting movie that was beautifully shot and perhaps there is more to this film than I observed but it didn’t leave much of an impact on me. I will say that the film was captivating throughout the experience, but not memorable.
If you’ve seen this film or any other interesting ones lately, let me know in the comments below and I may review it.