The Tree of Life(2011)
1950s-set drama from filmmaking master Terrence Malick (Badlands, The Thin Red Line), starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Winner of the Palme d'Or (Best Film) at Cannes Film Festival 2011.... More
An impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s, the film follows the life of eldest son, Jack (Penn, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Pitt) while questioning the existence of faith. "Malick draws a picture of family life as archetypal as a child’s questions about God, and connects it all to rapturous visions of the origins of the universe and the end of time." (NZ International Film Festival 2011)Hide
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BY Matt Glasby Flicks Writer
“Toscanini once recorded a piece 65 times,” says frustrated musician Brad Pitt to his three young sons (led by Hunter McCracken). “You know what he said when he finished? ‘It could be better.’” Malick put a similar level of artistic endeavour into this much-lauded near-masterpiece. An attempt to come to terms with the suicide of his brother (represented here by Laramie Eppler), this is a film so intimate it fictionalises the director’s childhood recollections, and so ambitious it rewinds back to the beginning of time to do so. Adaptation tried the same thing, albeit as a gag.... More
In the first 45 minutes alone we witness the Big Bang, CG dinosaurs and the birth of mankind, as Sean Penn (McCracken as an adult), Pitt and long-suffering mother/wife Jessica Chastain beg the universe for answers. It’s confounding, borderline pretentious, stuff, but there’s no denying the emotional weight it lends – imagine flicking through a Bible and someone’s baby book at once.
Shot as if by an all-seeing deity, and edited like a stream-of-consciousness Stand By Me, the middle section of the film is the most affecting. We watch McCracken and co buckle under Pitt’s brutal tutelage and blossom in their mother’s love, Penn/Malick’s memories wafting back willy-nilly like sunshine through the clouds. Perhaps impatient viewers should consider the film’s more cosmic concerns as extravagant bookends to a beautiful – if baffling – family drama. Could The Tree of Life be shorter, clearer, easier to grasp? For sure. Could it be better? Not a chance.Hide
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The Tree of Life
BY freshdude superstar
I just had a look at FLICKS viewers reviews, and find it amusing that all the bad reviews are from people who don't or hardly ever review films, and the good ones are from obvious movie fanatics with numerous reviews under their belt ... I think this speaks for itself, really.
This film is philosophical. This film is not to be watched on a small screen.... More This film is simply a unique masterpiece, even if Joe Blogg does not "get it" !Hide
BY adamatdramatrain superstar
If you surrender to 'Tree of Life' as a slow, meandering, meditation on, well, life, then you're in for a visual, audio and cerebal treat. Like Terrence Malick's 'The Thin Red Line' though - if you go in expecting a traditional linear narrative or Hollywood's standard big screen fare - you're gonna find this pretentious and dull. For me? It's 'Koyaanisquatsi' with movie stars. Think Kubrick's '2001' and Von Trier's 'Melancholia' and turn up, tune in and trip out...
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