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
Dissatisfied by the look of modern computer generated visual effects, director Terrence Malick approached veteran special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull, who was responsible for the visual effects in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), to create the visual effects for the film using bygone optical and practical methods. This marks the first feature film Trumbull has provided the effects for in 29 years, his last being Blade Runner (1982). See more »
When young Jack enters the neighbor's house to snoop, there is a brief glimpse of a tuned wind chime which is heard sounding. Tuned wind chimes didn't exist in the 1950s; there were only the un-tuned, jangly type (and very few of those in middle-class Texas homes). See more »
[in a whisper]
Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.
[choir singing dirge]
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Unlike a novel the stories in this movie do not unfold, revelation following revelation, culminating in a definable message or theme. There is no moral, no hero, no emotional epiphanies. What it presents is an extraordinarily haunting vision of childhood, how the things we love the most are as fragile as morning dew yet immensely powerful. The things that connect us, separate us, and bewilder us - again and again and again throughout our lives. The saddest, most insightful, most poignant portrayal of a family I have ever seen. Genius. How can this film achieve commercial success? it seems impossible. How did a film so ambitious get made when everything that makes money today is everything this film isn't? Bravo to the producers, bravo to the early critics who are stepping up and speaking out for this deeply moving masterpiece.
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