The Tree of Life (2011) Terrence Malick | Movement Nu 38
The Tree of Life is an experimental drama film that chronicles the origins of life by way of family living in 1950s Texas. It is interspersed with imaginative, gorgeous imagery involving the universe and the inception of life on Earth (see 2001: A Space Odyssey). It stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.
It took a while for it to finally come out, missing two years of due dates, but it was released in 2011 and won the Palm d’Or. It is a non-linear narrative taking an enormous idea such as the Universe into a small town setting, making it seem not at all different from one another. In 2012, it was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography.
It is hands down the best movie I saw last year and continues to triumph into this year. And it’s not the plot (non-plot) that ties micro-universes/cosmos with enormous ones, it’s not how everything (like the Tree of Life, Kabbalah) is connected. It’s the simplicity and silence of such grandiose ideas in beautiful stills and incredibly human, every day emotions.
When I went to see the film, most walked out (I guess they were looking for something louder, something Hollywood). Tree of Life isn’t that at all. It’s the exact opposite. It’s a film that makes you feel familiar in the strangest of places both mentally as well as visually. The “strangest part about it” is that they are places in which we constantly exist and are born from/into. How can something so familiar be so alien? How disconnected have we become from our roots?
Terrence Malick has produced a masterpiece that I believe will last the ages. It is timeless, unmistakably beautiful and lush enough for an infinite amount of interpretations. Watch it if you haven’t. Have patience, sit it out, and buy an extra large Coca-Cola if you have to but sit through it. I’m not going to make it any easier by spelling it out in a review, no, not for this film. This one you have to experience, without prior notifications about the films expansive success and breathtaking technique.