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The Tree of Life (2011)

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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.

Director:

Terrence Malick

Writer:

Terrence Malick
Popularity
1,899 ( 10)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 111 wins & 117 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Mr. O'Brien
Sean Penn ... Jack
Jessica Chastain ... Mrs. O'Brien
Hunter McCracken ... Young Jack
Laramie Eppler Laramie Eppler ... R.L.
Tye Sheridan ... Steve
Fiona Shaw ... Grandmother
Jessica Fuselier Jessica Fuselier ... Guide
Nicolas Gonda ... Mr. Reynolds
Will Wallace ... Architect
Kelly Koonce Kelly Koonce ... Father Haynes
Bryce Boudoin Bryce Boudoin ... Robert
Jimmy Donaldson Jimmy Donaldson ... Jimmy
Kameron Vaughn Kameron Vaughn ... Cayler
Cole Cockburn Cole Cockburn ... Harry Bates
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

El árbol de la vida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$372,920, 27 May 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,303,319, 23 October 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,303,319, 27 October 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2005 Terrence Malick had talked to Colin Farrell about starring in the lead role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack: [in a whisper] Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.
[choir singing dirge]
See more »

Alternate Versions

An extended 189 minute version was released on Blu-Ray and DVD by the Criterion Collection in September 2018. See more »

Connections

Featured in Exploring 'The Tree of Life' (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Siciliana Da Antiche Danze Ed Arie Suite III
Written by Ottorino Respighi
Performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Conducted by Rico Saccani
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Bold And Epic Exercise
1 July 2014 | by CalRhysSee all my reviews

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 due to the film's somewhat convoluted structure, but towards the end, I took in every aspect of the film, the themes of family, of existence, of life in general. Many see this as a hit-and-miss film, but unless you truly focus your attention, you'll miss the point it's trying to make. Is it pretentious? Indeed, but it's equally an amazing picture.

We sit for 2 hours and follow Jack, a young child growing up in a dysfunctional house with Brad Pitt playing (extremely well) his strict and overwhelming father in the 1950s. The story feels inspired by the likes of '2001: A Space Odyssey' and the art-house feel of Von Trier, 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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