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
The critic Jim Emerson got word of what Terrence Malick intended the sequence of dinosaurs to mean, by way of the visual effects supervisor in charge of that very sequence who is Michael L. Fink. Emerson describes what he learned from Fink; "The premise of the four-shot scene was to depict the birth of consciousness (what some have called the "birth of compassion")-the first moment in which a living creature made a conscious decision to choose what Michael described as "right from wrong, good from evil." Or, perhaps, a form of altruism over predatory instinct". See more »
The O'Briens have a fancy ceiling fan with lights attached in their lounge room; these were not available in the '50s. See more »
[in a whisper]
Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.
[choir singing dirge]
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Terence Malick's existential and experimental drama is truly something special. When I first started watching the film, I was trying to figure out what Malick was aiming to portray as the story went from the creation of the universe to the dinosaur-filled landscapes of Earth, however as the plot progresses, the message slowly unravels. We sit for 2 hours as the film follows Jack as a young child growing up in a dysfunctional house with Brad Pitt playing (extremely well) his strict and overwhelming father. The story features inspiration from films like '2001: A Space Odyssey' and the art-house feel of Von Trier flicks, but despite this, 'The Tree of Life' has its own unique and bold style that works well in creating a haunting and emotional visual treat, accompanied with fantastic performances from Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain and stunning cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki. 'The Tree of Life' is a bold and epic exercise from Malick that acts as a commentary on our society, a truly rewarding view.
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