Toronto International Film Festival includes film shot in Bartlesville with Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its lineup on Tuesday, and among the highlights is "To the Wonder," the film starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams that was shot in Bartlesville in the fall of 2010.
An important note: the Toronto festival, which runs Sept. 6-16, lists "To the Wonder" as having its North American premiere in the Canadian city, rather than the screening being the film's world premiere.
Reading between the lines, this is likely a confirmation that "To the Wonder" will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8. Venice festival officials will announce its lineup for this year at a Thursday press conference.
Filmmaker Terrence Malick's movie has long been rumored as a candidate for Venice, which along with the Toronto festival are the two main launching pads each year for motion pictures hoping to create buzz for awards season.
The Toronto festival's description of "To the Wonder" includes details not previously known about writer-director Malick's storyline, from its synopsis:
"After visiting Mont Saint-Michel -- once known in France as the Wonder -- at the height of their love, Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck) come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Javier Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane (Rachel McAdams). An exploration of love in its many forms."
On the film's Internet Movie Databse listing, a brief synopsis reads: "A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart."
"To the Wonder" was shot in Bartlesville, Pawhuska and Tulsa, as well as in France.
The cast beyond Affleck, McAdams, Bardem and Kurylenko includes Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet. The film has been rated R for "sexuality/nudity."
The picture has distribution deals for dozens of countries, but none has been announced for the U.S. and Canada. If one is not announced in the next month, it may leave studios bidding at the festivals for the rights to release "To the Wonder."
Malick, a 68-year-old auteur who was raised for several years of his childhood in Bartlesville -- where his father still resides -- will mark the first time in his career to have released films in consecutive years.
"To the Wonder" follows Malick's 2011 film "The Tree of Life," which earned an Academy Award nomination for best picture.
From left, Javier Bardem, Terrence Malick and Ben Affleck on the set of their movie filming in Pawhuska. LOUISE RED CORN/For the Tulsa World