Posted on 12/20/11 05:22 PM
The Tree of Life is not a movie going experience, it's a revelation. A film that touched me in a spiritual way. There has been many movies out this year and none of them has made me say best picture nominee. I can guarantee that The Tree of Life is a guaranteed choice in the Academy Awards.
The film is written by Terrence Malick, the director who brought us Badlands, The Thin Red Line and many other films. I've only seen The Thin Red Line and it was a excellent war film the correctly portrays the hardships of soldiers in combat. I need to brush up more on his films. However by just watching this film I can tell this is his personnel project yet.
The film follows a fragmented narrative switching back and forth between time periods. Two pasts and the present. A family in the 1950's is rocked when they found out about a death in the family. We see their trails and tribulations as they try to cope with it. Then we see this family member growing up and we experience his life before the inevitable. Brad Pitt plays the father Mr. O'Brien a strict father, the kind who wants his kids to say sir to him at all times. Then theirs Jessica Chastain as Mrs. O'Brien as the mother who has to succumb to the 1950's role of the woman. Stand back and let daddy do the discipline. Sean Penn plays an older character who reflects in the past and doesn't seem to fit in the world that he is living now. At the same time these characters grow we get Malick's view of how the world started and intersecting scenes of the growth of the world and the growth of the family.
The film is a more of movie you take in not as much as in the performances. We all now how Malick likes to do monologues. He films his characters doing everyday things and we listen to their thoughts. Thoughts that people wouldn't want to be bottled inside. The performances are great but it doesn't matter. Malick wants you to see his canvas. As in my personnel opinion of the film I felt it was like a flower slowly opening. We have to pay attention to not miss any detail. It's a very spiritual movie connecting me in a ways of nature and unconditional love. He wants us to see a family in turmoil while the world around them is changing. He showed me life in a realm of turmoil and despair.
The human drama shows the hardships of growing up in 50's society and how it has effected some people now. That is the role of the Sean Penn character in the film.
The film is breathtaking in it's visuals and effects and it showed me the world bare as it's suppose to be. The film is not for everybody and needs a very open minded person to be able to take in. Watching this movie people will have different opinions about it. It won't touch others as it touched other people. That's the beauty of it, that even if we don't understand it we can still see the art and the dedication the film has.
Oddly enough the film showed me hope even though some people might not be able to find it. Who knows what message Malick was trying to say but damn it reader he got me thinking. One of the best films of the year.