7 months ago
Thursday night's movie was A Hidden Life from director Terrence Malick.
Malick is the director of one of my favorite films, The Thin Red Line. It's a war movie unlike any other war movie. Yes, it takes place in WWII, specifically around the Battle of Guadalcanal, and it does show the horrors of war.....but it also focuses on the spiritual and the beauty of the world. Malick also directed The Tree of Life which I love as well....even the dinosaurs. (Really. There were dinosaurs.)
Malick's films are usually feasts for the eyes....I have said many times I love a good visual film over a good narrative most of the time....that is what the big screen is for. For visuals. And beautiful, gorgeous visuals are even better.
A Hidden Life is no exception. It's a gorgeous and beautiful film.
It is the true story of Franz Jagerstatter who lives in a picturesque village high in the Austrian Alps during WWII with his wife Fani and three daughters. He is drafted into the German army by the Nazis. He goes to train but never really sees any combat....but he does see what the Nazi Party stands for and is truly not impressed. He is discharged when France surrenders but when the war continues on, he is worried he will be called up once more. And once he is, he decides not to pledge an oath of loyalty to Hitler.....which really was pretty much frowned upon by the Third Reich.
Like I have said, this is a gorgeous film. There are endless shots of fields of grass and wheat blowing in the breeze, of rushing rivers and thundering waterfalls, and fog and mist shrouded mountains. But with all this gorgeousness comes another of the trademarks of Malick's films.....things take forever to happen. At six minutes shy of three hours, this is a VERY long film.
This movie isn't for everyone. You have to like Terrence Malick's films. There are many voiceovers, many stretches of no dialogue, and lots and lots of shots of nature and the beauty of the world around you. There were six people in the showing I saw and a man and wife ended up leaving halfway through.
It's also a very spiritual film. There are lots of conversations about God and free will and good versus evil.
The last twenty minutes or so are pretty powerful.
Soooo......if you like Terrence Malick films, you should like this film. If you like gorgeously filmed movies, you should like this. If you like somewhat "deep" films without a single explosion or car chase, you should like this film.
I liked it. You may not. All I am saying.
"We shall live above the clouds."