Terrence Malick’s Tale of Love & Nazis in WWII

Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for A Hidden Life. This is the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick, who has had something of a cold streak in recent years. However, based on the early word coming out of Cannes earlier this year, this could be a return to greatness for the director behind movies such as Badlands and The Tree of Life. Based on this initial footage, this World War II epic seems like a surefire awards season contender and Oscar hopeful.

The trailer kicks off with some truly stunning landscape shots. It sets up the relationship at the center of this tale, going over the courtship and bond these two people share before they were ripped apart by the horrors of war. While WWII movies have been done many, many times in every imaginable way over the years, this looks rather unique, as we’re presented with a German man who is conflicted about the leadership in his home country. It’s a seemingly grounded, human tale, as opposed to a grand war epic.

A Hidden Life centers on the story of an unsung hero by the name of Franz Jägerstätter. He refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. The Austrian peasant farmer was faced with the threat of execution for treason. Yet, his faith was unwavering and his love for his family helped to keep his spirit alive. The cast includes August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Tobias Moretti, Bruno Ganz, Matthias Schoenaerts, Karin Neuhäuser and Ulrich Matthes.

Aside from looking like the sort of thing that is destined to rack up a number of Academy Award nominations, this could be a crucial movie for Fox Searchlight. Disney merged with Fox earlier this year and, so far, things have been a bit rocky. Disney axed most of Fox’s development slate and the future for many projects remains uncertain. Fox Searchlight is a haven for indie movies. The banner’s upcoming slate, which also includes Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, a title that also focuses on WWII, yet in a very different way, will need to convince Disney these types of movies are worth investing in. That’s no small task.

Recent Terrence Malick efforts, such as Song to Song and Knight of Cups failed to garner much mainstream attention. However, this has earned some of his best reviews in years and looks to be a return to form for the auteur. It currently boasts a 74 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. And let’s not forget the last time Malick tackled WWII, we got The Thin Red Line. Malick penned the screenplay in addition to directing. Dario Bergesio, Josh Jeter, Elisabeth Bentley and Marcus Loges serve as producers. A Hidden Life is set to arrive in theaters on December 13. Be sure to check out the trailer from the Fox Searchlight YouTube channel for yourself.

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Terrence Malick’s Tale of Love & Nazis in WWII

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