The Tree of Life.

jessica-chastain-tree-of-life
This is a superb 2011 experimental drama film directed by Terrence Malick. It stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain among others. If you are a big fan of awe-inspiring cinematography, this is the movie for you.

I think some of the reviews I read when this came out got the totally wrong end of the stick. Malick is very into his cinematography rich films. His 2005 movie, The New World, mostly consisted of Q’Orianka Kilcher and Colin Farrell gazing at one another in a field. Anyway, I digress.

If you watch this film, don’t pull it apart in your ill-gotten search to find the story (a ‘story’ of sorts doesn’t really appear until about one hour in!). It has religious links and could be likened to Jesus (sacrifice of the son, etc.). Honestly, the cinematography is superb. Each scene looks like it has been expertly mapped out so that it all fits. The overlay of the whispered voiceovers just makes it eerie and irresistible.
What initially put me off was a foolish thought that passed through my mind. At first, I believed it to be a film made up of very pretty vignettes. I suppose it sort of is, but the vignettes actually make sense in the context of being interlinked with each other. Character development is interesting, but I think you have to look at this film as art house cinema. There isn’t really much dialogue and what the audience sees or not really depends on their personal scope.

To watch this film, a person has to look into their heart and discover their own deep-held beliefs about religion and the world (I am not preaching, it’s just an observation). It wasn’t a perfect movie, but a good film to watch if you are interested in cinematography or you like watching people gaze into the distance for extended periods of time.

MY RATING: 4 / 5.

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One thought on “The Tree of Life.

  1. I enjoyed reading this review far more than I did watching the movie. lol. I was in the minority that was like “…wtf?” with this film, but this is a very well written piece. Thanks!

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