Magnolia Pictures has snapped up U.S. right to Terrence Malick's divisive "To The Wonder," but will not release it in time for this year's Oscars.
Malick's latest will hit theaters in 2013, meaning it will not be in the hunt for a Best Picture nomination during this calendar year.
The film, with its elliptical meditations on love and nature and spare narrative roiled some viewers when it screened at the Toronto and Venice film festivals. Some critics hailed it as a masterpiece and a worthy addition to Malick's cinematic canon.
"At its best, Malick's cinematic rhapsody is glorious; during his uncertain moments, he appears to be repeating himself," Peter Bradshaw wrote in the Guardian. "But what delight there is in this film."
Others felt the film, with its breathtaking shots of insects and blades of grass and philosophical voice-overs, treaded the same ground as earlier Malick pictures like "Days of Heaven" and "The New World."
"If this is all Malick does for the rest of his career, and we'll see with these next two films if he's still got other tricks in his bag, then I might not be able to actively call myself a Malick fan," Drew McWeeny wrote in HitFix. "That is perhaps the single most depressing movie-related thought I've had all year."
Indeed, coverage has centered as much on the major stars whose work did not make the final cut — sorry Rachel Weisz — as on the picture itself.
Despite the bold faced names left on the cutting room floor, there's still a top shelf cast that includes Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem. The film tells the story of a pair of lovers who meet in France and move to Oklahoma to start a life together. There, their love story is challenged.
Expect a feast for the senses, though one geared at the art house crowd. Affleck himself joked about the commercial prospects, saying that the film “makes 'The Tree of Life' look like 'Transformers.'”