Drama Movies, by Ajay Singh, 14 July 2011

Director: Terrence Malick

Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain

Country: USA

Runtime: 139 min

Release Date:

Language: English

Awards:Cannes Film Festival

Writer/Director Terence Malik has had elements of this film in his head since the 1970s, when he wanted to make a project about the origins of life on Earth. the background concepts of that have emerged in this haunting and impressionistic movie which focuses ostensibly on the life of a child’s loss of innocence as he grows into a man in the 1950s. Staring heavy hitting names such as Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, this movie is an astonishing visual treat, an absorbing human drama and a movie which everyone will be able to relate to in some way.

The Tree of Life

Brand Pitt in The Tree of Life

It’s a film which is open to many interpretations, and is a very personal experience. Pitt plays Mr O Brien, a grounded, stern father figure, married to the much more relaxed Mrs O Brien (Chastain). A key point is explained early on in that Mrs O Brien narrates that she was taught as a child to embrace either nature or grace, nature representing the realities of life and grace, the spiritual side of existence. These two characters clearly embody both sides of that choice.

Laramie Eppler, Brad Pitt and Tye Sheridan in THE TREE OF LIFE

Laramie Eppler, Brad Pitt and Tye Sheridan in THE TREE OF LIFE

However, the story isn’t really about the family and the struggles of their son to adjust to adulthood, but is about the fundamental interconnectedness of the universe. String theory. How we are all made of the same energies, everything in the universe, just connected together in different forms. Thus, we ARE the universe and have a direct connection to it. Not surprising from Malik, who is both a philosopher and scientist, to choose a theory which elegantly welds the two together.

Every aspect of the film is a joy to the eyes. Aside from Malik’s beautiful direction, complemented by seamless and breathtaking cinematography, the production design by Jack Fisk is stunning, really evoking the remote Texan 1950s setting and so much more as well. This is the closest that cinema comes to art, and is a real eye opener. It’s already been showered with awards and is liable to garner many more so see it right now and be prepared for a truly astonishing experience. Sit back and go with the flow.

The Tree of Life [DVD] (DVD)
Actors: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler
Director: Terrence Malick
Format: PAL
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Running Time: 139 minutes

List Price:
Price: £4.69
64 offers available from £0.01
3.2 out of 5 stars (242)

The Tree of Life Trailer

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