Not my favorite Malick, but perhaps the one that most gets me excited about him. Partially because what he fails to do and partially what he does with flying colors. Firstly, it's undeniably beautiful. To the degree where you don't even mind that it is achingly slow. Small moments of a childhood in the 1950's have never been so gripping. The film's scope is practically boundless, with a chunk of it following the creation of the universe/world. To have that in contrast with the smaller (perhaps SMALLEST story) layers the film beautifully and gives me more than plenty to chew on. However, it should not be a surprise that the film at times dips into pretensions, the existential pleadings heard in the voice over are perhaps too on-the-nose. Often times removing me from the film. It's perhaps the first time where Malick didn't completely blow me out of the water with his voice over. Often times, I felt handed several pieces of a puzzle with no real idea of how to put them together. Or what I was expected to do with them. The film may be beautiful, but I can't say I'm driven to rewatch it in an attempt to put it all together. In some sense, just having them was enough. Rather, it leads to me want to watch something else of his. Still, there is something exciting about the scope of the film, that it has been tackled by a filmmaker during a summer of what seems to be pretty ordinary fare.
Stop playin' with all them Baby Feet, Brad!