Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday night. As is his custom, the reclusive director wasn't on hand for the proceedings, which left Malick's third wife, Alexandra "Ecky" Wallace, as the evening's de facto emcee. That's where things apparently got a little weird.
As THR.com's Scott Feinberg notes, audience members were "left scratching their heads" after Wallace proclaimed that she and her husband almost moved to Canada following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "We have much to learn from you," Wallace said.
"To the Wonder" polarized critics when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival at the beginning of the month; the film was met with some boos upon completion. In Toronto on Monday night, the audience was slightly more polite.
"Tepid applause followed the screening at the Princess of Wales theatre, a contrast to enthusiastic clapping that follows a great many screenings at this festival," wrote Steven Zeitchik from the Los Angeles Times. "Some filmgoers could be heard exhaling exasperatedly when an apparent ending proved to be false, while others scratched their heads as they spilled out of the theater."
"To the Wonder" is about the strained relationship between Neil (Ben Affleck) and Martina (Olga Kurylenko), who live together with her daughter in rural Oklahoma. Rachel McAdams co-stars as Neil's former love, with Javier Bardem playing a priest. There is minimal dialogue in the film, with voice over being used almost exclusively to convey the characters' inner thoughts. As Deadline.com's Nancy Tartaglione wrote after "To the Wonder" premiered in Venice, Affleck "probably has less than 10 lines." That's notable since Affleck was the lead of the film, before his role was trimmed down.
For more on the "To the Wonder" screening at the Toronto Film Festival, head over to THR.