Filmmaker Terrence Malick’s romantic drama “To the Wonder,” which was shot primarily in Oklahoma, will make its world premiere at next month’s Venice Film Festival.
The lineup for Venice’s Aug. 29-Sept. 8 festival, announced Thursday, includes the film, which stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Barry Pepper and Javier Bardem. “To the Wonder” will be among the 18 films screened in competition for the Golden Lion, the top honor at the world’s oldest film festival.
The film’s writer and director, the famously reclusive Malick, spent several years of his youth in Bartlesville, where his father still resides, according to the Oklahoma Film & Music Office.
“To the Wonder “was shot in the fall of 2010 around the Bartlesville and Pawhuska areas and briefly in Tulsa. The film utilized the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program, administered by the Oklahoma Film & Music Office.
It is the follow-up to Malick’s acclaimed 2011 drama “The Tree of Life,” which was nominated for three Oscars, including best director and best picture.
Here is a synopsis for “To the Wonder,” courtesy TheFilmStage.com:
After visiting Mont Saint-Michel — once known in France as the Wonder — at the height of their love, Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck) come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Javier Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane (Rachel McAdams). An exploration of love in its many forms.
Malick is one of four American directors who will be competing for the Golden Lion this year at the Venice Film Festival, according to the Associated Press. Both De Palma’s sexy thriller “Passion” and Malick’s “To The Wonder” star McAdams. It is De Palma’s first feature film since “Redacted,” which won Venice’s award for best direction in 2007.
Fellow Americans Ramin Bahrani will debut “At Any Price,” a film set in the competitive world of modern agriculture and starring Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham, while Harmony Korine will show his comedy-romance “Spring Breakers,” starring James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens.
Besides the four U.S. directors, three Italians will premier films; the broad field also includes films from France, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the Philippines. In keeping with recent tradition, a secret film, the 18th entry in the Golden Lion competition, will be announced at a later date.
To see the list of films competing for Venice’s Golden Lion, click here.