The Tree of Life
A Beautiful, epic, documentary-like movie that deserves your time
Sean Penn 4 1/2 /5 stars
The Tree Of Life, where the film gets it’s name, is a fictitious tree that represents the notion that all of life is connected or related, essentially the movie shows you the connection and the Tree that is life.
The first quarter of the movie is a confusing flashing’s of a story line, with voice overs. A flickering flame, then a mother (Jessica Chastain, The Help) receives a letter telling her of her sons passing, and the father (Brad Pitt) is on the phone at work being told the same news. Flash forward to present day, one of the sons of the two parents is now an architect, he sees a tree and begins to reflect on his life.
The movie doesn’t just jump right to what the son is reflecting on, we are taken to the creation of the earth, the very beginning. A long but beautiful scenes of the earth forming, early life on our planet, dinosaurs, etc. eventually were in the 1950’s and the married couple (Pitt and Chastain) are welcoming their first son ( played by Penn in the future). The story circles around this families life as they welcome two more sons, and then struggle and grow as a family. The parents are two opposite ends of the spectrum, The father being rough and tough and the Mother is sweet and caring.
We stay with the family for most of the movie, and most of it happens when the three sons are about the ages of 13, 8 and 6 (just a guess).
The Tree of Life reminded me of a BBC nature documentary with a human storyline/ it is a beautiful, epic-like movie. It’s not exactly confusing, but it’s just different, with many underlying themes and assumptions that need to be made. There is not a whole lot of dialogue. The story is told more through facial expressions, actions and themes. The acting is wonderful, I hope Jessica Chastain receives some sort of supporting actress award, and Brad Pitt could be a could awards contender too.
Now, on a different note, my fiance did not like The Tree Of Life, she did sit through the entire movie and gave it a chance but she definitely did not enjoy it, but she did agree that it was “a pretty movie”. I will say that it is very different, a little all over the place, and you are going to have Patience, time and an open mind to really enjoy the movie. You’ll have to make assumptions, don’t get hung up on details and things that maybe throw you off or confuse you. If you do happen to rent The movie, No distractions, just you and the movie, turn the lights off, your phone off and really focus. Let it wash over you, soak in the movies beauty and enjoy it. I will probably not watch it again, it’s not one of my favorites ever, but one of the year because it is a really amazing movie, there is a difference. I think it deserves to win awards along with the very talented actors.