When I saw THE TREE OF LIFE, I thought that the cinematography was good but the directing was bad. In SONG TO SONG, it's the other way around. Both were written and directed by Terrence Malick, who usually prefers to focus on the philosophical themes surrounding his characters and to go against traditional narrative structures. His style wouldn't work in a plot-driven movie, but that doesn't mean that it would work in a character-driven movie. His style works when the situations his characters go through are meaningful. You know, like soldiers in a battlefield. I'm not saying that a couple of love triangles happening at the same time (involving the same people) don't matter, but it's like comparing sex in a hotel bathroom with sex in a motel bathroom. Not to mention that the idea was already explored (better) in CLOSER (does casting Natalie Portman make this more of a rip-off or less?). Luckily, Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara have a lot of chemistry and only a fraction of the movie is boring (when it focuses only on COOK (a music producer)).