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
Emmanuel Lubezki explained Terrence Malick's approach to film by saying "Photography is not used to illustrate dialogue or a performance" but instead is used "to capture emotion so that the movie is very experiential". So the film, with Lubezki's own words, is "meant to trigger tons of memories, like a scent or a perfume". 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 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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