This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Mat TtTtTtTt’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Evidence Terrence Malick is magic...
I've seen his other work Badlands, The Tree of Life as well as The Thin Red Line and it will never stop shocking me how he gets away with giving the viewer so little of their world but knows how to get us to invest regardless.
I felt the narration by the young girl (I'm not sure whether people agree but for one thing I thought she nailed that accent) was meant to be our eyes into the film, but it doesn't quite work and we are left like a fly on the wall just watching the film and it's beauty. This is fine but at parts begins to cross lines where it isn't as moving as maybe it wants to be.
Richard Gere and Brooke Adams are good, their roles don't entail too much theatrical acting and in later parts of the film Adams excelled in telling a story through a stare or look. I've never had much of an admiration for Richard Gere; this is easily his best performance, he pulls back all the layers on his character and it's just raw and natural. Sam Shepard is the star of the show however, partly due to his cinematographer, but he merely elevates his mannered and personal performance. I'm not sure why but the cinematography and Shepard were so in tune it was like Greta Garbo who worked regularly with cinematographer Williams H. Daniels (on projects like Anna Christie and Grand Hotel) he knew every inch of her expressive face and how to maximise her talent and it was very much the same with Shepard and Almendros.
If I was to get picky at some details, in the fire scenes towards the end, the staging wasn't great. The fire was just all around them and it didn't look quite right, I might put that down to technical restraints though.
Malick is a Directorial maestro and I'm absolutely thrilled he's making films much more regularly now. Here's to hoping they're just as brilliant.