The Tree of Life (2008)
Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 12
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 106
"The Tree Of Life," Hava Volterra's new documentary about her journey to Italy to trace the roots of her Jewish ancestors is a personal family saga that illuminates the fascinating history of the Jews of Italy. The film follows the Israeli-born director, an engineer in Los Angeles, as she struggles to come to terms with her father's death by traveling to Italy, the land of his birth, to trace the roots of his family tree. Beginning in the ancient Adriatic city of Ancona, Volterra and her feisty
Feb 11, 2008 Wide
May 6, 2008
Ruth Diskin Films - Official Site
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It's a sympathetic notion, to be sure, but it leaves one feeling you're on the couch with Volterra, not on a roots quest.
[Volterra's] affinity for Italian stereotypes is countered with delightful truculence by the film's most engaging character, her down-to-earth octogenarian aunt Viviana.
Ms. Volterra, acting as narrator and interviewee herself, can't seem to resist the urge to be the star of her own film, which too often feels like a wearisome exercise in self-therapy.
It's clear why Volterra would have felt driven to make such a film. It's less clear why anyone not related to her would pay to see it.
Byler has a knack for elegant composition, as well as the hazy middle ground between friendship and friendship with a sexual asterisk.
Vivid animation, illustrations and puppetry lighten up interviews and elementary reflections on a personal history of Jews in Italy, better left to a family reunion.
While Hava probably gained a lot from the experience of making The Tree of Life, the audience will gain demonstrably less.
Moments of uncommon creativity and poignancy, but often coming dangerously close to crossing the line between biopic and home movies.
...absorbing, mysterious, lyrical and distinctively titillating...a moody masterpiece that is thrillingly alarming...[a] tale of wandering hedonism and anguish
A character study about characters I never cared about, Tre features actors whose acting shows. Never for a minute did I buy that the characters they were trying to create were real.
There's a strange sort of vacuousness to Tre, Eric Byler's newest installment on relationships amidst directionless twentysomethings.
I think Byler is at his best when he directs material he writes on his own, and he's at the top of his game with Tre.
[Byler] ventures into Douglas Sirk territory with astonishing skill (not an easy task), presenting this potential melodrama with gravity and intelligence.
A smart and incisive look at contemporary relationships that avoids all the cliches that one might expect to find
After a promising start with Charlotte Sometimes, Byler fumbles big time with this slow-moving, even irritating sophomore effort.
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