Rarely viewed as an 'actor's director,' Malick has nevertheless brought out some great work
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5. Q’orianka Kilcher, “The New World” (2005)
Seven years after his big return to cinema, Malick tried to keep a stride of some sort going with the Pocahontas story in “The New World.” And in the pivotal role, Malick cast Q’orianka Kilcher, an unknown — aside from being singer/songwriter Jewel Kilcher’s cousin — and a happy surprise. In the extended cut of the film, much of the material, including the character, has some more room to breathe. So I consider that when sizing up Kilcher’s lived-in portrayal of a complex woman confronted with love, duty and ultimately, the real “new world” of the film’s title: civilization.