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Review: The Tree of Life (2011)

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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.

My Rating: A-

Review: My Left Foot (1989)

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Daniel Day Lewis, of There Will Be Blood fame, is a great actor. In my defense of that statement, I present My Left Foot as Exhibit A. If you are a fan of incredible acting, there is no way you want to miss out on this flick.

My Left Foot is based off of the autobiography of the same name by Irish author/artist Christy Brown. Christy, born with Cerebral Palsy overcomes not really having any control of his body (except for the aforementioned foot), and facing the world with the help of his family.

As you can see, the plot is kinda thin. Obviously, the thin plot only serves as a way to show off the rich acting performances. The family drama is both funny, hearwarming, and tear jerking. Led by Brenda Fricker as Christy’s mother, there are no bad performances in this family. And then there is not only Daniel Day-Lewis, but Hugh O’Conor as young Christy Brown, giving an eerily similar job of portraying the wheelchair bound artist.

My Rating: B+