The New World

( 23 )

Overview

Terrence Malick, the universally acclaimed American filmmaker responsible for the key 1970s features Badlands and Days of Heaven, returns for a rare directorial outing with the sweeping period piece The New World -- an epic dramatization of Pocahontas' relationships with John Smith and John Rolfe. Malick's story opens at the dawn of the 17th century, just prior to the colonization of the United States -- when the North American population consisted of an interconnected series of native tribes. In April 1607, ...
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Overview

Terrence Malick, the universally acclaimed American filmmaker responsible for the key 1970s features Badlands and Days of Heaven, returns for a rare directorial outing with the sweeping period piece The New World -- an epic dramatization of Pocahontas' relationships with John Smith and John Rolfe. Malick's story opens at the dawn of the 17th century, just prior to the colonization of the United States -- when the North American population consisted of an interconnected series of native tribes. In April 1607, three maritime vessels approach the unfamiliar continent, with 103 sailors on board. As members of the Virginia Company, these adventurers carry a royal charter to mount a society on the edge of the new continent. John Smith Colin Farrell sits chained below one of the decks. He is a 27-year-old loose cannon, who, for his persistently rebellious acts, has been sentenced to death by hanging as soon as the ships dock. Nevertheless, Captain Christopher Newport Christopher Plummer acknowledges Smith's ability to aid with exploration and consents to pardon him as a result. Upon landing, Smith seeks assistance from local Native American tribes with colonization, but runs into the unexpected -- he falls desperately in love with Pocahontas, or "Playful One" Q'orianka Kilcher, the daughter of the omnipotent Chief Powhatan August Schellenberg. Needless to say, this does not sit well with Powhatan or the rest of the tribe. Moreover, the oft-bellicose Smith enters a head-to-head conflict with his fellow Britons when he finds his tempestuousness calmed by the tranquility of the new landscape, as the anger and violence of his shipmates concurrently build in the face of the Native Americans. Later, Smith temporarily returns to England; believing that Smith is dead, Pocahontas accepts the hand of plantation owner John Rolfe in marriage with her father's blessing and follows Rolfe back to the old country. When Smith returns to America, his intended is nowhere to be seen, and the entire community teeters on the brink of a British-Indian war. Malick shot the production on location in Virginia; it co-stars Jonathan Pryce, John Savage, and David Thewlis.
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Special Features

Making the New World: Comprehensive 10-part documentary; Theatrical trailers
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Writer-director Terrence Malick has made only four feature films in a 30-plus-year career -- The New World arrived eight years after his previous film, The Thin Red Line -- each unique and noteworthy. As anyone who's seen his extraordinary 1978 film, Days of Heaven, knows, Malick is a painterly crafter of images. In this respect he is, perhaps, the most sensual American filmmaker working today, and The New World represents him in peak form. Rather than focus on the 17th-century Pocahontas legend -- in which the Native American princess saves colonist John Smith from death at the hands of her father and fellow tribesmen -- Malick recounts the (generally) true story of the young girl's subsequent marriage to an English gentleman, her education, and her journey to Britain. An unusually restrained and dignified Colin Farrell plays Smith, who loves Pocahontas (although she is never referred to as such) but leaves her heartbroken to find his destiny elsewhere. Christian Bale is John Rolfe, a gentleman entranced by the native girl. Most captivating of all is the 15-year-old Q'Orianka Kilcher, an exotic beauty who turns in one of the most astonishing performances ever seen from a film newcomer. She seems practically ethereal, a word that would also apply to the director's visuals; Malick's colorful vistas of the lush, verdant, and still pristine North American countryside are as much a part of the story as Pocahontas herself. The New World unfolds at a slow, stately pace, paying little heed to the demands of typical Hollywood product. This meditative approach allows the story's emotional power, and the setting's grandeur, to accumulate with the passage of time and lend the film a truly epic quality.
All Movie Guide
Terrence Malick aims for a kind of psychological realism through poetics in this stupendous reexamination of the Pocahontas myth. From the opening, when a group of frolicking Powhatan natives spy the approaching ships of Captain Newport Christopher Plummer from the future Virginia's verdant shores, it's clear that Malick is less interested in historical accuracy than in a ground-level positing of how colonization was emotionally experienced when Jacobean England discovered a "new world." As in most tellings of the story, Pocahontas Q'orianka Kilcher and Captain John Smith Colin Farrell, through their romance, function as agents promoting change and peaceful integration of their respective cultures. But their good intentions are easily complicated; the probing voice-overs reveal them struggling to understand and never coming to terms with their desires. A real-life romance most likely did not occur. Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography employs the usual painterly imagery and break-away nature shots of Malick's other films, but in this film these techniques are perhaps best integrated into thematic structure, referencing the idea of "virgin land" and the role physical environment plays in cultural identity. The actors are universally strong, particularly Christian Bale's final-act appearance as the pious John Rolfe. Kilcher, 14 at the time of shooting, gives a mind-bogglingly complex revelatory performance that nearly overwhelms at the unexpected rush of the closing moments. In Malick's notoriously miniscule oeuvre, The New World easily stands as one of his best films.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/8/2009
  • UPC: 794043132759
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / EXTENDED EDITION
  • Time: 2:52:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 4,819

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Colin Farrell John Smith
Q'orianka Kilcher Pocahontas
Christopher Plummer Capt. Christopher Newport
Christian Bale John Rolfe
August Schellenberg Chief Powhatan
Wes Studi Opechancanough
David Thewlis Capt. Edward Wingfield
Yorick Van Wageningen Captain Argall
Ben Mendelsohn , Ben
Raoul Trujillo Tomocomo
Brian F. O'Byrne , Lewes
Irene Bedard , Pocahontas' Mother
John Savage , Savage
Jamie Harris , Emery
Alex Rice , Patawomeck's Wife
Michael Greyeyes , Rupwew
Kalani Queypo Parahunt
Noah Taylor , Selway
Jonathan Pryce , King James
Alexandra Malick , Queen Anne
Technical Credits
Terrence Malick Director, Screenwriter
Craig Berkey Sound/Sound Designer
Ivan Bess Associate Producer
Richard Chew Editor
Hank Corwin Editor
David Crank Art Director
Kathleen Driscoll-Mohler Casting
Toby Emmerich Executive Producer
Paul Engelen Makeup
Jack Fisk Production Designer
Jose Antonio Garcia Sound/Sound Designer
Sarah Green Producer
Sarah Hauldren Art Director
Rene Haynes Casting
Trish Hofmann Executive Producer
James Horner Score Composer
Saar Klein Editor
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Francine Maisler Casting
Bill Mechanic Executive Producer
Rolf Mittweg Executive Producer
Mark Ordesky Executive Producer
Sandhya Shardanand Associate Producer
Billy Weber Associate Producer
Jacqueline West Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Yoshikawa Editor
Michele Ziegler Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fabulous Historical Feature!

    As a frequent visitor to Jamestown, Virginia and the surrounding area, I was drawn to this film . I was hardly disappointed as it seems many were. The direction of the film spared no expense to detail and excitement. The actors are top notch. One may say this is not an historically accurate movie. It certainly can provoke one to find more to study on the subject of Jamestown and the historical characters. This feature was exciting , romantic and beautifully directed!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I have not seen any others of Terrence Malick's films, but this movie has encouraged me to rent them.It seems as if he pays attention to every little detail,and he has done a wonderful job.The New World has some of the best cinematography I have ever seen.It shows the present and everlasting(hopefully)beauty of the American landscape, at the same time showing the primitive and non-destructive ways of the Native Americans.It is not an action-packed film for those who are looking for a thriller.It's a beautiful classic film that can be appreciated for its intricacies and sensuality.The music composed by James Horner gave me chills and only added to the effect of this beautiful movie.Even though it is dramatized,it was not filmed for historical accuracy-who cares how it really went?!Appreciate it for what it is.Bravo Terrence Malick.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    not mallick's best, but still great

    If you went into the theater expecting a historical drama it is understandable that you might be dissapointed. Because, although the setting has historical importance and the main characters are writ large in the pages of history the subject of the movie is not the sweep of these figures' place in history or their effect upon it. Instead it focuses on their very intimate and intense relationship, from the fresh excitment of new love, which is portrayed excellently both by Ms. Kilcher and Mr. Farrel, to the despair of loss and the resignment and quiet renewal that comes with having to continue life after love. In my opinion the third most prominant actor in this movie is the location (no offense to Mr. Bale), and Mallick uses it brilliantly both in its symbolism as well as in its very real presence in the lives of the characters, a theme which has always been in his movies, but has reached its apex in The New World. This isn't a movie about the mystique or myth of two important figures in history, it is a movie about the arc of a relationship and how it is simultaneously nurtured and assaulted by the world in which these two people live. And in that way this is a great film.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Of American sensuality

    If there is a film of American sensuality, this is the film. Terrence Malick documents the beautiful Pocahantas in her lush, virgin territory much like her. Is the North Ammerican wilderness a symbol for Pocahantas?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not as great as the Trailer makes it seem

    This movie ran very slow, slow enough to make me fall asleep in the theater. To me it was a boring and a huge dissapointment. Pochahontas's name wasn't even mentioned once in English or Her native tounge, if I recall correctly which really had me assuming who that character was "I figured it out with her relationship with John Smith, which did not completely keep me in the dark on this particular subject". Additionally, there was only about 2 scenes that kept me entertained. Overall, wasn't worth my money or time to sit and watch this film. Take my word on it, Disney's Pochahontas was a heck of a lot better than this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Artistic, but not much else...

    Though this movie looked wonderfully, and there were many creative elements to it, like the narratives. Everything else was basically lacking. The dialouge was weak, the story was boring and left much to be desired. Could have been done much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding

    Wow...an absolutely fantastic movie!I loved every second of it and the music is spectacular.Definitely worth the three or so hours in length. Colin Farrell managed to make himself seem genuinely in love while Q'Orianka Kilcher gave a stellar Oscar-worthy performance,and Christian Bale was...well, he was Christian Bale(hot and awesome!).The plot and characters managed to bring many tears to my eyes,however, it's not a tear-jerker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Spectacular!

    I loved this movie! Ever since I was little I have always been intersted in the life of Pocahontas. I was overly ecstatic when I heard a LIVE ACTION adaption on the subject of Jamestown and the settlers and natives. So I rented it (because it wasn't playing in theaters) and loved it! The only problem I have with it is that the whole John Smith/Pocahontas thing was a little too much considering their age differences but oh it was great! My brother thought it was very boring and I admit it is rather slow, but still! Q'Orianka Kilcher did a WONDERFUL preformance as Pocahontas and surprisingly Collin Farell actually did pretty well, too. The music was beautiful (Thanks James Horner!) and the cinematography and scenery was lovely. Please, see this movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cinematic Beauty

    As he has done before in "The Thin Red Line," Terence Malick creates a motion picture that encaptivates you. From the beginning sequence of the arrival of the ships, played to the tune of James Horner's beautiful score to the end scenes in England, Malick directs a stellar cast. The cinematography speaks for itself, often times over the narration. Colin Farrell is great. This film defines poetic cinema.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great film!

    Wonderful movie! Saw it in the theater and then immediately bought it on DVD. Any fan of Terence Malick will love it. Even Colin Farrell was great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Captivating

    A good movie, that its historically accurate romantic. Loved it so much I Watched it 4 times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Warhol's "Sleep" was more entertaining

    A review in a word? Yawn! This is the film you buy for people when you want to impress them about how arty and turned on you are - but secretly, you hate them and want them to die. 'The New World' would have to be the most excruciatingly boring film in the English speaking language. Its only plus is the pretty scenery, but if you want pretty trees and water, go camping! The acting is abysmal, the dialogue, what little there is, is inane sophomoric poetry reading tripe. The music is pretentious or non-existant. What about the plot? There's a plot? Something about some rather plain looking 15 year old 'earth-child' falling for some grubby, self-loathing 30 year old English fop. And the climax? Artistic treasures like this don't need low-brow climaxes. And you get all this and more. And more. And more. Malick just doesn't know when to say "Cut!" Dull, boring, tedious, indulgent, irritating, self-serving, politically-correct drivel. Just the sort of rubbish your teacher will force upon you to study in Literature or History class.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Eh.. I don't recommend it

    It is a beautiful movie but is hardly historically accurate at all and it is a bit hard to follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The New World

    This is the story of the history behind the New World and of John Smith and Pocahontas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    terrible movie w/no direction

    was there no director for this movie. i feel like they mixed up the reels. this is a movie i really looked forward to and in my humble opinion, it was garbage. all i could see was people running around in circles. all in all, a very bad movie with little or no direction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Only 1 star for this one

    This movie had the potential to be another Last of the Mohicans, or so I was hoping anyway. But this movie squandered any potential it might have had. It's so boring I couldn't watch the 2nd half. Snoozefest, stay away from this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wondeful and captivating film

    Incredible movie! Anyone who is familiar and enjoys any of Terence Malick's other films will not be disappointed. Easily one of this years best pictures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews