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The Tree of Life (2011)

 -  Drama | Fantasy  -  17 May 2011 (France)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 109,295 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 936 user | 554 critic | 43 from Metacritic.com

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

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Title: The Tree of Life (2011)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 61 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hunter McCracken ...
Laramie Eppler ...
...
...
Grandmother
Jessica Fuselier ...
Guide
Nicolas Gonda ...
...
Architect
Kelly Koonce ...
Bryce Boudoin ...
Robert
Jimmy Donaldson ...
Jimmy
Kameron Vaughn ...
Cayler
Cole Cockburn ...
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Storyline

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Tree of Life  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$372,920 (USA) (27 May 2011)

Gross:

$13,303,319 (USA) (21 October 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The large swimming pool carved out of a natural setting is Barton Springs, a major tourist attraction in the heart of Austin, Texas, known in modern times for its large population of topless females. See more »

Goofs

The credits say that Johannes Brahms's fourth symphony, second movement is heard (in a version by Herbert von Karajan, not Arturo Toscanini as in the film), but it is the fourth movement. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack: [voice-over] Brother.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Venice Film Festival 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Lacrimosa 2
Composed by Zbigniew Preisner
Performed by Elzbieta Towarnicka (soprano) and the Sinfonia Varsovia and the Chór Warszawskiej Opery Kameralnej (as Varsov Chamber Choir)
Conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk
Courtesy of New Music B.V.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rayuela
7 June 2011 | by (Porto, Portugal) – See all my reviews

How do you watch such a film? You've got to lower any defenses you have. You've got to not allow yourself to try to make a sense out of everything you see. You've got to take it all, and let it enter you, just as smoothly as the film enters dinosaurs, cells, planetary evolution, or a simple living room of a troubled family. Make no judgements, consider nothing except the pure experience of being there, wherever the film takes you. Search no explanation, for there was no real rational reason other than intuition for images to be as they are.

Imagine a film about everything, with a remote storyline that talks about every theme, in every possible time of the world.

Imagine a film without a beginning or an ending. Circular meta-narratives, where you can pick up on any spot (i mean any) and you can create whatever inner narrative you want. A sky of images (like the mosaic poster of the film) where you can pick your own choices, and create whatever story you like. Or you can choose to frame the more palpable story visible in the film in whatever fashion you want. Up to you. The challenge is that you have to test the limits of your own imagination to live the film in its full extent. Nothing is predefined. Go wherever you want.

Now imagine all that delivered by someone who spent his entire film life trying to walk around the idea of plain old narrative layering. The absolute master of unrelated narratives, of off-screen details. The man who films hands and corn fields when he wants to say love; Who shoots the universe to build one of the most powerful expressions of intimacy, of mind's solitude in the film world. Contrast.

I don't know if this is the best film ever made. It probably is the strongest experience in film world that i got first hand, while it was coming out, new.

What is it? a film inside Sean Penn's head? a Story framed in the universe? part of it? metaphor for it?

I've heard a lot about how this film is a kind of 2001. I don't think so. Kubrick and Malick are 2 different kinds, 2 different approaches, purposes, different process, and different outcomes. Kubrick bends narratives to a point of perfection. Obsessive. Chess leaked all over filmmaking. Malick is the other end of the stick. Pure visual intuition, enhanced by Malick's intellectual background. Just because both directors are little fond of public appearances, and because both this and 2001 feature planets, that doesn't bring the films closer.

In 1963, Cortázar published one of the most important books of the last century, Hopscotch. The title of this comment is related to its original title, in Spanish. I think this film and that book have similar aspirations. Trace your path, you have the chapters, but you have to make an order out of them.

How this is done is in pure mastery of every tool of film conception. Every image counts, each shot was taken care with competence and passion, each frame, each camera move - Lubezki has worked with Malick, Iñarritu, Cuarón. Each collaboration adds a lot to what is being done. He really can read the director's aspirations, and deliver nothing short of mastery. At this time he has entered enough important projects to be considered one of the best cinematographers ever.The editing is world class. Every cut, whether the space virtual shots or the family scenes, matter to the narrative, whatever that is. What takes this to a whole new level is how, in this film, Malick tops his already incredible leverage of music. Editing has always equally present the visual as well as the sound scapes. Watch it, let it get absorbed.

This film demands an incredible lot from you, as viewer. It demands that you be a different person after watching you, that indeed you may change your generic approach to film- watching, or at least that you accommodate in you a new way to watch films. On a basic level it's about Malick's intuitions. On another level, it's about what you get on screen. But ultimately it's all about how you place yourself in the universe proposed.

My opinion: 5/5

http://www.7eyes.wordpress.com


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