Bam’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not a big fan of Terrence Malick at all. Saw Song to Song a few years ago and I think it's probably one of the most pretentious, overly stretched, snobbish things I've ever seen (I'm sorry!). So when I heard about A Hidden Life, to many people, is a return to form for the guy, I was willing to give him a chance. This time I came somewhat prepared. I'd been looking into his style, his filmography, his signature techniques to know what I was about to face yet again, instead of going in blind on his newest project, the mistake I'll never repeat.
A Hidden Life sure bears resemblance to many things I hate about Song to Song. I now know it's not a sort of ambitious project gone wrong or a misfired intention, it's just the way Malick makes movie, the fact I understandably accept eventually. No lie I dozed off a few times, didn't have my coffee this morning. But what makes A Hidden Life works, while Song to Song doesn't, is probably target subject that suits the style of its film. A detached, wide shot of breathtaking landscapes, erratically edited and filled with people moving in and out of the shot dreamily like a living portrait, a beautifully woven tapestry about faith in God and oneself and courageous resistance against oppression feels much more profound than a story about how hard it is being white and in love. Do I hate it? Of course not. Do I love it? I wouldn't go that far. But I'm glad my first trip back to theater after the pandemic is at least this, not fucking Sonic.