The Tree of Life

D: Terrence Malick
Fox Searchlight/River Road (Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner & Grant Hill)
US 2011
139 mins


W: Terrence Malick 
DP: Emmanuel Lubezki
Ed: Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber & Mark Yoshikawa
Mus: Alexandre Desplat

Sean Penn (Jack O'Brien), Brad Pitt (Mr. O'Brien), Jessica Chastain (Mrs. O'Brien)

For aficionados of arthouse movies only.

Director/Writer/Producer Terrence Malick abandons a conventional narrative and goes for a visual poetry on life, the universe and everything.  The little story it does have revolves around a suburban family, where the mother lives her life by a spiritual code whereas the father teaches the children that if they want something, they must earn it. It's all rather cryptic though, as the story is mostly told without dialogue, rather with beautifully captured imagery.

The visuals are capitivating, including a "creation of the universe" scene akin to the space ballet from 2001: A Space Odyssey (qv), but aside from moments like this the movie is overlong, rather pretentious and a criminal waste of Sean Penn.


The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life