The life journey of the eldest son of a Midwestern family. From the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years where he struggles to make sense of the past. In a quest for meaning he questions the origins of life and the existence of faith.
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Midwestern American spirituality. The grand prize at Cannes? I think those judges did it just to irritate Lars von Trier, whose competing film was so much better, but they didn't like his hitler jokes at a press conference. Give the guy a break, he's a brilliant wacko. Malick is a hayseed.
for all the love i have for national geographic and nasa photography, i don't think that is enough to make a good film. for the fans of those two, and, additionally,of phillips, kodak, dove, orange, etc. commercials aficionados, this is a must. plus, i remember paternal rigidity translating in special addressing formulas was deemed"domestic fascism" in other films, but this flic escaped the labeling.
I don't think it's striving to make a profound statement, just a personal one. What we have is Malick wandering through scenes of his own childhood. A first person reflection, like Tarkovsky's Mirror , where the loss of his two brothers & his own physical & spiritual disconnection from past & present propels the whole thing. Malick finds a new cinematic language in the combination of sound & image. A miraculous work.
Like sitting down to a big, pretty episode of something David Attenborough, but with the family in front of you stage-whispering their middle-class melodrama while you’re trying to watch. Scripting like a grade 8 poetry assignment. Also, random dinosaurs? Tried to get through this with Grace, but my Nature sure rolled its eyes a lot at the self-indulgent brooding & ultra-obvious symbolism. So very much not my thing.
It is a strange film and I guess people expected more plot development given the fact that it is released in mainstream theaters with renowned actors. Perhaps Malick wants us to contemplate and comprehend its visual experience. Personally, it is a visually poetic film. A profound and spiritual examination of human existence.
Ok, so I have seen this movie like 5 times now. What I admire the most about "The Tree of Life" is its shear ambition. What sort of movie sets up to tell the story of all human life? And succeeds (in my view) in doing so? From the Big Bang to our Death: the cinematography, soundtrack, storyline and actors make this masterpiece something that transcends the limits of storytelling and moviemaking. Malick is legendary!
There are very few contemporary American films I would call "profound" but this is one of them. Malick's reach may exceed his grasp, but he is striving to encapsulate no less than love, life, death, and the universe itself. This is a film you have to let your defenses down for. If you do, it might just make you look at people, animals, and the elements with new eyes after the credits roll.
I loved this film... but... I have the feeling that many people around here who are praising Malick as if he had invented "the wheel" in cinema have not watched Tarkovsky's The Mirror, Solyaris and Ivan's Childhood. Malick has taken Tarkovsky's most iconic images and has made his homage to one of the greatest film makers ever. Give praise where praise is due...