Friday, March 11, 2016

Knight of Cups Movie Review

Christian Bale & Natalie Portman star in Knight of Cups

Remember Forget the Pearl

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Knight of Cups follows writer Rick (Christian Bale) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he undertakes a search for love and self. Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Wes Bentley) and father (Brian Dennehy.) His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women: rebellious Della (Imogen Poots) his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Cate Blanchett) a serene model Helen (Freida Pinto) a woman he wronged in the past Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) a spirited, playful stripper Karen (Teresa Palmer) and an innocent Isabel (Isabel Lucas) who helps him see a way forward. Rick moves in a daze through a strange and overwhelming dreamscape - but can he wake up to the beauty, humanity and rhythms of life around him? The deeper he searches, the more the journey becomes his destination. The seventh film from director Terrence Malick, Knight of Cups (the title refers to the Tarot card depicting a romantic adventurer guided by his emotions) offers both a vision of modern life and an intensely personal experience of memory, family, and love. Knight of Cups is produced by Nicolas Gonda, Sarah Green and Ken Kao. Prominent crew includes cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, production designer Jack Fisk, costume designer Jacqueline West, and composer Hanan Townshend. The film's ensemble cast also includes Antonio Banderas, Cherry Jones and Armin Mueller-Stahl.

Wikipedia refers to Malick as "one of the greatest living filmmakers," but my head's still spinning after sitting suffering through a screening of Knight of Cups. 118 minutes feels like an eternity, despite Malick's frequent (and irksome) cross-cutting. There's little dialogue, save for existential narration by a star-studded cast; and the film's biggest star (Bale) is unbearably dull... so much so, you don't care what happens to him. Ditto for the rest, especially a 20-something stripper's commentary, "We're not leading the lives we're meant for." Ugh. Time for Malick to shut up already, learn to edit or (hopefully) retire.

Grade: F