The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.
I’ve only ever seen one Terrence Malick written/directed film, the infamous The Thin Red Line. That alone could probably get me excited enough to want to see this movie. But there is something a lot more to the extremely little that I know about this movie that seems to really pierce into my interests and wonders.
The Tree of Life‘s message and theme seem daunting and powerful, questioning and daring you to question the purpose and existence of life and all its aspects. I’ve heard of scenes expanding from the point of initiation of the Big Bang, zipping through the entire history of the universe and earth, then through the life of a boy in the 50’s, played as an adult by Sean Penn. Which leads me to the leading 3 actors, another thing to be excited about. I still think Penn, despite many awards, is underrated. I love everything this man touches, with no exceptions that I can think of off the top of my head. Then you have Brad Pitt as the father of these boys in the 50’s, which is a time I could only ever dream of having lived and experienced. A seemingly struggling father, at that, only wanting the best things possible for his son, but struggling to do so. And as the mother, I’ve only heard great things about Jessica Chastain, but I’ve not seen her in anything before.
This movie looks and sounds like something that could give a lasting effect on people for days/months/years after viewing. That is probably why the people who aren’t giving this a good review [and there’s not many of them so far] are calling it pretentious and over the top. But with such topics as the creation of life and the history of it, a topic with such a hugely expansive list theories and ideas, I think this movie could be intriguing to people of any belief. I am always interested on people’s take of such things, so this movie really has me drawn in on that aspect.
This movie seems bold, and could possibly go way over the top and try way too hard to do what it’s supposed to do, but I have faith (And so does RottenTomatoes so far, with 11-1 fresh ratings from top critics). So I will, not for the first time, say that I really think this movie looks like it could enter my top 10, 5, 3 movies of all time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked away with a new favorite of all time. Even just watching the trailer gives me chills, my breathing shortens. It is more than enough reason to Get Excited!
If you’d like further information and another opinion from a legendary write who’s seen the movie, please go read Roger Ebert’s review. “What Malick does in “Tree of Life” is create the span of lives. Of birth, childhood, the flush of triumph, the anger of belittlement, the poison of resentment, the warmth of forgiving.”