Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Tree of Life (3.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

A film about life.

This movie is quite abstract and could be about many things. While trying to figure out exactly what that was I found myself lost in a reality that hurt like it was real but was surreal like a dream. The story behind the beautiful is something I think most people can relate to. The way it was shown is entirely cut and paste which is confusing at times but once you let the fact that this movie is not linear sink in your heart takes over.

This movie is part amazing drama and part nature video. It was like Baraka meets The Hours or something. A heart wrenching story with images that distract but then multiply into a modern view on life. At least that's what I felt it was. Nature and grace, like the movie says. But why can't there be both? The choice of images made me feel that this was the idea they were trying to get across. It will probably mean something entirely different to everyone.

I found the ending a bit long and repetitive. There was probably an artist reason behind that but I found it took me out of the story that I had accepted over the last hour and a half. Also Sean Penn isn't really even in this movie so I don't know why his name is on all the posters.

Brad Pitt was decent in this film. It's hard to talk about peoples performances because the movie was up and down and all over the place so it was hard to lock down on a scene and really get a feel for any one character. Except the kids, the kids were awesome. Jessica Chastain was beautiful in this movie and really fit the character well which was important.

Terrence Malick, the director of The Thin Red Line makes some great movies and this one is very different yet still had the same tone as most of his movies have.

I liked it but I didn't love it. I can see why it is getting all these awards and is successful with the critics but I also see why it didn't dominate the box office or get high ratings with us non-film student types. As cinema it was stunning, as a movie it lacked in anything solid enough to really grasp. I did like the whole concept and enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. It's a heavy movie though, an epic drama, but I suggest watching it if only to have your own opinion.

It's one interesting drama, that's for sure. Quite different from what I have seen before. I liked some parts more than others but over all it's a good film.

3.5/5

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