Terrence Malick made one of the best films of the decade with 2011's The Tree of Life, which was nominated for three Oscars and lost to – checks notes – The Artist? His films since then have tested the patience of even his most devoted fans, as well as the actors in them. But his latest is a bit of a departure, earning him some great reviews out of Cannes and an intense bidding war won by Fox Searchlight (now part of Disney).
A Hidden Life is based on the true story of Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian farmer who refused to fight for the Nazis, even under threats of violence against him and his family. The film stars August Diehl, who ironically played a gleeful Nazi major in Inglourious Basterds, as Franz. The cast also includes Bruno Ganz, Matthias Schoenaerts and Michael Nyqvist, in his final film role. While Emmanuel Lubezki was unavailable to shoot the film, Jorg Widmer – who served as a camera operator on all of Malick's films this century – stepped up to provide the sumptuous beauty that's a hallmark of these stories.
A Hidden Life will enter limited release on December 13. Expect it to be a major Oscar contender.