It may look, sound and feel like a Terrence Malick film, but aside from a producer credit, the upcoming “The Better Angels” is actually the work of editor and second unit director-turned-writer/director A.J. Edwards. But certainly, after logging time on “The New World,” “The Tree of Life” and “To the Wonder,” he’s learned a few things about Malick’s approach and has put them to use.
Starring Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley and Braydon Denney, the black-and-white film tells the story of young Abraham Lincoln, and the events of his youth that would shape the man who would become one of the great Presidents. And while that’s a great premise—as our review of the film out of the Sundance Film Festival bears out—this is a lot of style, but with no authorial stamp. As our own Rodrigo Perez wrote, the film focuses “on mood, nature, divinity and celestial atmosphere [but] Edwards’ picture has very little of its own distinctive voice or narrative thrust.”