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Terrence Malick’s ‘Lawless’ Gets Official, Rockin’ Synopsis

Written by on February 23, 2012 

Every Terrence Malick project carries a certain air of mystery before (and, in all honesty) after they’re released, yet Knight of Cups and Lawless might be setting a new standard for the enigmatic artist. Back-to-back productions? A bunch of shooting at music festivals — the kind that isn’t even official? Some of the same actors in either movie? It’s almost too much to comprehend at once.

Thankfully, FilmNation (via ThePlaylist) have swooped in and cleared up a little bit of the massive confusion, providing all of us outsiders with an official synopsis. So, without further ado, we now know that Lawless “follows two intersecting love triangles,” and “is a story of sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.”

Days of ACL.

Okay, just to get serious, Malick fans and non-fans alike will all agree that Lawless sounds like a real deviation from a career that, to this point, has mostly comprised of period pieces with elliptical forms of storytelling. I fully acknowledge you could make almost all of his films sound conventional with a quick synopsis — and I want a “Malick film” when this comes out in six years — but it’s difficult to picture something emblematic of his style emerging from all of that. As a huge supporter, though, I’ll gladly take a forward step this late in the man’s career.

Starring Christian Bale, Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, and Haley Bennett, Lawless is expected to begin shooting this fall.

Does this synopsis pique your interest in Lawless?

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