You have to like how Terrence Malick has managed to cultivate his career up to this point. His body of work is sparse, but meaningful, with a visual style that can’t really be compared to anybody else at this point — maybe Alejandro Inarritu, but it seems like a stretch. That doesn’t mean he’s a perfect filmmaker, but it does mean he’s able to craft films that visually stimulate, even when they don’t stimulate in other ways.
So Knight of Cups seems odd because it keeps the visual mastery intact, but it drops your typical Malick scenery for the excesses of Hollywood. Christian Bale is a screenwriter surrounded by an odd world, looking for meaning while navigating different relationships and whatever wild situation he can find. That isn’t like we’ve seen the film, but we did consult the plot to try and describe it.
What you can take from this trailer is Christian Bale has fully distanced himself away from Batman, he’s trying to distance himself away from Exodus, and Terrence Malick is still superb — even if he doesn’t make much sense. It doesn’t seem like there are any dinosaurs this time around, but it’s still odd to see Malick cover Hollywood. I can’t picture him marching across the southwest and pitching this in the middle of the desert. Still, it should be interesting.
(Via Broad Green)