A fitting film to end a 46 year-long career with.
For fifteen years I have been reporting on Ebert’s reviews on this site. I realize now this will be the last time I ever do this, the last time I will ever write the following words, which I have written many many times over the years. I used to call him L’Ebert. And then Le Grand Ebert. These were meant with affection because of his greatness. In the early days, I sought out his reviews first.
So here goes. Ebert closes his review this way:
As the film opened, I wondered if I was missing something. As it continued, I realized many films could miss a great deal. Although he uses established stars, Malick employs them in the sense that the French director Robert Bresson intended when he called actors “models.” Ben Affleck here isn’t the star of “Argo” but a man, often silent, intoxicated by love and then by loss. Bardem, as a priest far from home, made me realize as never before the loneliness of the unmarried clergy. Wandering in his empty church in the middle of the day, he is a forlorn figure, crying out in prayer and need to commune with his Jesus.