One glance at the trailer for Knight of Cups, posted above, should immediately give away the man behind the film's vision: Terrence Malick, who in the 1970s appeared poised to become one of America's great, prolific filmmakers before taking a 20 year hiatus from filmmaking. Wide camera angles, long takes, haunting voiceovers, quasi-religious imagery, ethereal use of light, people frolicking on beaches, family drama, the quest for spiritual fulfillment...it's Malick's Greatest Hits.
Making The Tree of Life in 2011 seems to have spurred him on into a new creative phase of his career, though; and thus, just two years after To the Wonder, Malick has his latest effort loaded and in the chamber. The film doesn't have an official synopsis just yet, but we can glean a pretty clean plot description just based off of the footage nonetheless.
Here, Christian Bale (currently on screens in Exodus: Gods and Kings) plays Rick, a man caught up in the glossy ebb and flow of Hollywood and left discontented in his life as a result; his human relationships are fractured, and he's dissatisfied with the emptiness of the partying lifestyle.
So the film, at best guess, is about Rick's quest to carve out a more meaningful existence for himself. Alongside Bale, Malick has assembled an impressive troupe featuring the likes of Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Ben Kingsley, Teresa Palmer, Isabel Lucas (Red Dawn), and Brian Dennehy, among a few others here and there.
That's a seriously stacked cast, which, combined with the tropes both familiar and new to Malick's work (the glitzy LA setting is a completely different world than we're used to seeing him operate in), should make Knight of Cups worth seeking out.
Knight of Cups makes its world premiere at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February, 2015; it should reach theaters (in a limited release) sometime later next year.