Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups” Screens In Santa Barbara to Scathing Reviews, Indifference, Sleep


Terrence Malick was once a genius. “Days of Heaven” and “Badlands” were works of art. He was indulged, however, by people with money who thought backing him would be cool.

The result is “Knight of Cups,” the latest in a series of sleep inducing farces, Emperor’s new clothes scenarios. This started with Tree of Life, then To the Wonder. They are films with almost no dialogue, no plot or story, beautiful pictures, movie stars who’ve been convinced their participation will make them arty. In t his one it’s Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Freida Pinto, and so on.

On Twitter there are several messages of sleep and boredom. To wit:

Ain’t it Cool News wrote: “This film is garbage. I’d say it is pretentious garbage, but I don’t even think it rises to that level. People are calling it “experimental,” but let’s get real. It is not really an experiment when you do the same thing over and over. This movie is just Christian Bale walking around in random scenes, instead of Ben Affleck. You didn’t have a script when you made it. You didn’t even tell Christian Bale what the movie was about. That’s just asshole behavior right there — to think you are so good that you don’t need to make your movie about anything.”

Malick, of course, didn’t go to the Santa Barbara screening. No one other than his inner circle and the actors have seen him in years. We used to care about this. Now, not so much. I can’t see “Knight of Cups” unless I am ready for bed, by the way. I slept through To the Wonder twice.

“Knight of Cups” has already opened and closed in several countries. It opens in the US March 4th. I’d go see it right away before it’s put on planes to help insomniac passengers.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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