Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life (2011)

Written and directed by Terrence Malick

Stars: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan and Fiona Shaw

I don't know what to say. Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life was eagerly anticipated that it was delayed a couple of times. When it came out, the movie was met with little fanfare. It didn't come back tot he radar until it was nominated for Best Picture, Director and Cinematography at last years Oscar. I watched the film last night and I had to marinate on it.

The movie is a serious of flashbacks when Jack O'Brien (Penn) is haunted about what happened in his childhood back in the late 1950s. Most of the film dealing with the strained relationship between his strict religious father (Pitt) and his free spirited earth mother (Chastain), younger Jack's (McCracken) relationship to his father and a tragedy that changes the family dynamic forever.

I heard a little bit about the movie that it was metaphysical take about life, love and connection. I understand  that it what Malick wanted to do on screen, but I felt like it was no executed well in my opinion. I don't know if was Penn's distancing himself from movie, but I never understood why he was in the movie. He looked so lost and confused. I had the same trouble with the film like with 2001: A Space Odyssey -- which there were many comparisons of . I understand that you wanted to make this grand statement about the human condition, but do we need to go back to the beginning. We get it.

I went through a range of emotions when I saw this film, I was confused, bored, angry, in awe, back to anger, boredom and relief that it was finally over. As I said before, I understood that Malick wanted to make a movie about the human condition, the relationship between a father and son, the difference in people's beliefs about God, the Devil, Heaven and Hell. That's all well and good. I was not invested in the movie that much. If the movie has the relationship between Mr. O'Brien and Jack without seeing closeups of nebulas, seaweed and light posts, I would have enjoyed it more.

I will say that the strongest aspect of the movie was the cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. It was some gorgeous visuals.

My Rating

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