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Full Official Synopsis For ‘To The Wonder’ Revealed, Plus Soundtrack Details Including Songs By St. Vincent, Olga Kurylenko & More

Full Official Synopsis For 'To The Wonder' Revealed, Plus Soundtrack Details Including Songs By St. Vincent, Olga Kurylenko & More

We guess the mystery is over to a certain degree. With its Venice Film Festival premiere looming this weekend, details about Terrence Malick‘s “To The Wonder” have been coming in fits and starts, with many wondering about the course the story will take after the director has seemingly axed everyone from the movie. And while words on the page hardly convey what the helmer will conjure on screen, this latest batch of info is the best intel yet about the narrative path (such as it is) and surprisingly reveals that Malick must read Pitchfork or something.

The Film Stage has got their hands on the press notes for the film, and they are a doozy. The package reveals a lengthy, and probably spoiler heavy breakdown of the plot (using that term loosely) plus the soundtrack details. And it’s here where things are perhaps the most interesting. Long a fan of classical music, Malick has songs by St. Vincent and Thee Oh Sees in the mix. Dude, do you have a Spotify account? Also intriguing is that Olga Kurylenko — who is not cut from the movie — has a song as well, singing “The Little Grey Wolf.” Also interesting to note that composer Hanan Townshend only seems to have had one tune make the cut.

As we’ve previously noted, the film is Malick’s first movie under two hours since “Days of Heaven,” but it seems — at least from the tremendous line-up of music and lengthy description — that it will be one flowing piece of work, which we probably should’ve guessed. And as always, all bets are off until it unspools. But we’ll leave you with this quote from Ben Affleck about the movie: “This pastiche of impressionistic moments, skipping across the character’s life and moving in a nonlinear way, mirror, in my mind, the way one remembers one’s life. It’s a little hypnotic and you’re a little bit in a daze — it’s more fluid than real life is.”

The synopsis is below with the soundtrack info on page two and for more details, hit The Film Stage for additional notes about the shooting and making of the film.

TO THE WONDER, written and directed by Terrence Malick, is a romantic drama centered on Neil, a man who is torn between two loves: Marina, the European woman who came to United States to be with him, and Jane, the old flame he reconnects with from his hometown. In TO THE WONDER, Malick explores how love and its many phases and seasons – passion, sympathy, obligation, sorrow, indecision – can transform, destroy, and reinvent lives.

As TO THE WONDER opens, Neil and Marina are together on the French island of Mont St. Michel – known in France as The Wonder of the Western World (Merveille de l’Occident) – and invigorated by feelings of being newly in love. Neil, an aspiring writer, has left the United States in search of a better life, leaving behind a string of unhappy affairs. Looking into Marina’s eyes as the Abbey looms in the distance, Neil is certain he has finally found the one woman he can love with commitment. He makes a vow to be true to this woman alone.

Marina, quiet and beautiful, with flashes of a mischievous humor, is divorced and the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, Tatiana. At 16, Marina left the Ukraine for Paris without a cent to her name. There, she married a Frenchman who abandoned her after just two years, leaving her alone with Tatiana in a studio apartment. Marina was forced to work a variety of temporary jobs to make her way. Having nearly given up hope, Marina is overcome with joy to be in love with Neil, her salvation from an unhappy future.

Two years later, Neil and Marina are living in a small town in Oklahoma, close to where Neil grew up. Neil, having given up his hopes of becoming a writer, has taken a job as an environmental inspector. Neil is happy with his work, but his love for Marina cools as she, for her part, is frustrated by the holding pattern she feels she is in with Neil. She fears her youth – and happiness – are slipping away. In spite of her anxieties about Neil, Marina initially feels at home in Oklahoma, embraced by the open space and sky, and soothed by the sounds that come from the wind harp that animates breezes into songs.

Seeking advice, Marina turns to another exile in the community, a Catholic priest named Quintana. We learn that Father Quintana has come to grapple with his own dilemmas, as he harbors doubts about his vocation. He no longer feels the ardor he knew in the first days of his faith, and wonders if he ever will again.

Professional life throws Neil into conflict as well, when he discovers that a smelting operation in town is polluting the soil and water and threatening the health of future generations. His concerns fail to persuade his neighbors, who depend on the smelter for their livelihoods. Under pressure to keep quiet, Neil must once again weigh the consequences of his actions. Neil’s doubts about Marina intensify. This, coupled with the fact that Marina’s visa is soon to expire, leads her to return to France with her daughter. In her absence, Neil reconnects with Jane, an old friend. As the two of them fall deeply in love, Neil finds this new relationship far less complicated. Yet when word comes to him that Marina has fallen on hard times and her daughter has gone to live with her father and refuses to have anything more to do with her, he finds himself gripped by a sense of responsibility for her wellbeing, and arranges for her return to the United States.

Neil’s entanglements with the two women in his life, and Father Quintana’s struggle with his faith, force them both to consider different kinds of love. Should the commitment they each made be undertaken as a duty, sometimes full of effort? Or should we accept that love often changes, and doesn’t always last? Can sorrow bind lovers more tightly than joy?

“Now Now”
Written by Anne Clark
Performed by St. Vincent

Written and Performed by Thee Oh Sees

“Fratres for Eight Cellos”
Composed by Arvo Part
Performed by Hungarian State Opera Orchestra
Conducted by Tamas Benedek

“Harold in Italy, Op. 16, II.”
Composed by Hector Berlioz
Performed by The San Diego Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Yoav Talmi

“Parsifal: Prelude to Act One”
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by Hanan Townshend

“Parsifal: Prelude to Act One”
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by The Mariinsky Orchestra
Conducted by Valery Gergiev

“Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), H0B.XXI;3″
Composed by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performed by Mozarteum Orchestra
Conducted by Ivor Bolton

“Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 2, P.138″
Composed by Ottorino Respighi
Performed by Ireland National Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Rico Saccani

“June (Barcarolle)” Performed by Morton Gould at The Piano
Arranged and Conducted by Morton Gould
Composed by Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky

“Ou Tu T’Endors”
Written by Michael Tuccio
Performed by Ishtar Alabina

“Symphony No. 9 in E Minor ‘From the New World’, Op. 95”
Composed by Antonin Dvorak
Performed by the Bartlesville High School Band

“Miss Mary Mack” Traditional

“Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ – II. Lento Cantabile Semplice”
Composed by Henryk Gorecki
Performed by Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Antoni Wit

“Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ – III. Lento – Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile”
Composed by Henryk Gorecki
Performed by Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Antoni Wit

“Unto Us A Child Is Born; Alleluia (From Christmas Cantata No. 142)”
Written by J.S. Bach
Performed by Hanan Townshend

“Cantus Arcticus, Op. 61, ‘Concerto for Birds and Orchestra’: III. Joutsenet Muuttavat (Swans Migrating)”
Composed by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performed by Royal Scottish National Orchestra

“Les Saisons (The Seasons), Op. 37b-June:Barcarolle”
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by llona Pruyni

“Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102”
Composed by Dmitry Shostakovich
Performed by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee

“The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29″
Composed by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Enrique Batiz

“Cosmic Beam Drone # 1”
Written and Performed by Francesco Lupica

“Cosmic Beam Take 1”
Written and Performed by Francesco Lupica and Lee Scott

“Cosmic Beam Take 5”
Written and Performed by Francesco Lupica and Lee Scott

“Troops Advance”
Written and Performed by Francesco Lupica and Lee Scott

“McKron Freaks”
Written and Performed by Francesco Lupica and Lee Scott

“Prophecy of the Village Kremna”
Written and Performed by Arsenije Jovanovic

“The Medusa Song”
Written and Performed by Tatiana Chiline

“So Go”
Written by Lauren Marie Mikus
Performed by Lauren Marie Mikus and Hanan Townshend

“The Little Grey Wolf” Traditional
Performed by Olga Kurylenko

“Bartlesville Fight Song”
Performed by the Bartlesville High School Band

“Lahaul Valley”
Composed and Performed by David Parsons

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