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Christian Bale’s Hollywood screenwriter character gets lost in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups.

He’s so turned around in life, the poster has him flipped upside down:

(Photo: Film Nation)
(Photo: Film Nation)

The Knight of Cups can be found in a deck of Tarot cards. The Knight on the card is considered to be delivering a message, but in a calm and peaceful manner. If the card is revealed upside down, the meaning is reversed; emotions are running rampant. Of course, there can be multiple interpretations depending on the reader, but the above should cover the basics.

The story itself mimics some of the traits of the actual Tarot card, but the film is not a literal interpretation. In other words, we should not expect to see Bale in medieval knight’s garb searching for the roots of astrology.

Last year we got a look at the first trailer and a brief description:

Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.

It turns out Bale portrays a Hollywood moviemaker by the name of Rick, who was told the above story by his father when he was a child.

We meet Rick in his prime. From an outsider’s perspective he should be content with life, but, alas, he’s not. We travel with him to the desert, an over-the-top party, in and out of love, as he searches for an escape from the life of indulgence he appears to be drowning in.

Malick tells Rick’s story by piecing together fragments of narration, versus traditional storytelling through dialogue.

The Knight of Cups Twitter page has been rolling out clips all this month, also featuring Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, giving us a hint of what to expect:

When the film is released on March 4, you can also look for Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Terese Palmer, Imogen Poots, Armin Mueller-Stahl. Ben Kingsley is not seen in the film, but you can expect to hear his voice.

Malick also wrote The Tree of Life, starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain.

What are your expectations?

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By Brigid Brown