Roger Ebert, in his review of The Tree of Life, called the it, ” a film of vast ambition and deep humility, attempting no less than to encompass all of existence and view it through the prism of a few infinitesimal lives”. Well, I don’t know about all of that, but rest assured, Terrence Malick’s fifth feature is one of the most gorgeous pieces ever put to film.
Tree of Life combines a lot. There’s dinosaurs, planets, and volcanoes, but for the most part, we are following a family through the eyes of eldest son Jack (Hunter McCracken, Sean Penn). In the various vignettes of sort, we get to know his parents, (Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain) and two younger brothers. His father is a strict totalitarian parent, while his mother plays the role of grace.
If you like to watch movies with happy endings, lots of dialogue, or you know, a traceable plot, I’d skip out on this. Even when I watched it, there was plenty of complaining in the room.The biggest part that you must adjust to, is the constant changing of scenes, without any real narration to what the heck is going on. But as much crap as I’m giving, I will say that I was completely fascinated during the whole movie. For some reason, even though my childhood was pretty much nothing like that portrayed in the film, something still resonates. Not to mention that every distinct shot (mostly steadycam, no zooming, etc.) is absolutely dripping with beauty. The Tree of Life, if you can stand it, will most likely be one of the most unique and different movies you will ever see. Just make sure you’re in it for the whole thing.