Terrence Mallick's Tree of Life

Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:07 pm
Went to the movies this Friday after walking around with Penny all day. Tried to see the 6:30 showing of Terrance Malick's much anticipated masterpiece, Tree of Life but 7 of the evening shows were sold out already.

Decided to buy a 11:15PM ticket and wait around the five hours reading and such. I'm glad I actually saw the film last night.

Tree of Life (2011)
For such a highly stylized and experimental film, a score of 86 on the top critics section of Rotten Tomatoes is very exceptional.

The film is a highly condensed and abridged version of the history of the universe. At least the creation of the universe is identifiable in the beginning of the film.

What little part of traditional story telling can be recognized in the film revolves around a young boy names Jack as he grows up in an American town of the 1950's. Shot in mostly flashbacks, an older Jack (Sean Penn) dissects his adolescence growing up with a loving mother (Jessica Chastain) and a very difficult father (Brad Pitt) and his two other brothers.

And it's not an easy film to watch. Many dialogueless scenes and tracking shots to truly unnerve an unexpected ADD-riddled audience.

This film WILL try your patience. This film feels so much longer then 138 minutes. Just remember patience is a virtue. The film WILL confuse most viewers (including myself). Still it was a rewarding watch.

The trailer doesn't do the film justice.

Hopefully, the film distributors will move the film from a limited US and Canadian release to a fully national release. It won't break any box office records but seeing this film on a small screen would be a crime.

The acting is absolutely stellar. The cinematography and the editing will be and should be considered legendary.

I kind of figure this film will be this year's Black Swan, (not in terms of actual style and Tree of Life is far more ambitious) , because it will be a highly divisive film. Half who see it will hate it and half will love it. But it will likely be the most discussed film of the year, if not one of the most discussed films this decade. That's if a critical amount of people ACTUALLY see the film.

I believe that will at least get the following nominations come January 24th, 2012:
Best Picture
Actor in a Leading Role: Brad Pitt
Actor in a Supporting Role: Hunter McCracken
Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Chastain
Film Editing
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Music (Original Score)

Here's a slideshow of film stills presented in the NYTimes:
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Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:15 pm
Sounds interesting.

I haven't seen a film for way too long for some reason.
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:23 pm
Whaddid I say, that's one I would like to see sometime, if for nothing else than the photography. I might even like the lack of dialog. I'm guessing it isn't all racked with annoying music but I don't remember reading about background sound or music.
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:28 pm
The cinematography is incredible.

The score is very ecclesiastical and spiritual. Quite beautiful.

The end of the film will give the philosophy forumites here aneurysms and they'll be grateful for the hours of discussions they can hold on the subject. Good grief! What have you wrought Terrance Malick!
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:33 pm
<pictures the discussions>
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Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:47 pm
Sounds wonderful, but I'm still having trouble getting past Brad Pitt cast as the father. Geesh. When did THAT happen?
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 09:05 pm
Brad Pitt has certainly matured as an actor with his straight dramatic performance in Benjamin Button.

In The Tree of Life, he's quite a believable stoic father figure from the 1950's.
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Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 09:08 pm
Well, The Tree of Life seemingly has a national theatrical release the end of June for Australia:
Australia 30 June 2011

Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 10:41 pm
From the Village Voice film review:
You may feel amazed or muddled, softly spoken to, or simply abandoned while watching it; in any case, you shouldn’t wait for the DVD. Better than a masterpiece—whatever that is—The Tree of Life is an eruption of a movie, something to live with, think, and talk about afterward.

Reply Sat 11 Jun, 2011 10:11 pm
Really great article on the film:
Love him or hate him [Malick], there's no one else like him. And there's no other movie like The Tree of Life, where every birth is a brand new star and every death is an apocalypse.

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