New World, The (2005, USA) C-135m. SCOPE **** D: Terrence Malick. Starring Colin Farrell, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, Wes Studi, David Thewlis, Ben Mendelsohn, John Savage, Jamie Harris, Alex Rice, Noah Taylor, Ben Chaplin, Jonathan Pryce. Exceptional drama set in the early 17th century, when ships from England arrive at the new world, confounding the native inhabitants, among them beautiful princess Kilcher. When the settlers fail to initiate trade with the natives, their leader Plummer returns to England, leaving captain Farrell in command. Farrell falls in love with the princess, who as a consequence is expelled from her tribe. However, their love is not to lastů Strikingly directed, emotionally powerful epic, much along the lines of Malick's earlier features (this was only his fourth in more than 30 years!). Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography is pure bliss! Film is perfectly accompanied by quiet classical score by James Horner (using themes from Mozart and Wagner). Irresistible fare, if tuned in to it. Similar in mood and artistry to Kubick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968). Malick wrote the screenplay for this in the late 1970s! It based on an old legend that also inspired the Disney feature POCAHONTAS (1995). Fatally ignored at the Oscars.

© Ron Altman