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Terrence Malick has summoned forth a dizzyingly impressionistic study of family life that doubles as a vaulting enquiry into the very nature of the universe and the possibility of God. Kubrick’s 2001 comes close, but Malick’s philosophy pines for the salve of love and spirit, and comes light on psychotic super-computers. Even the hardy concept of dialogue falls prey to his exquisitely aloof vision. Against the constant murmurings of nature, we catch only odd lines and whispered voiceovers querulously calling to a hard-of-hearing deity: “Where were you?”
There is simply nothing like it out there: profound, idiosyncratic, complex, sincere and magical; a confirmation that cinema can aspire to art.