The Tree of Life (2011)

“Unless you love, your life will flash by. ‘ – Mrs. O’Brien

Number of Times Seen – 2 (16 Nov 2011 and 28 Jan 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A man reflects on his youth in Texas while contemplating our place in the universe.

My Take on it – I have never been the biggest fan of any of Terrance Malick’s films and this was a very difficult chore getting through a second time.

There are very few films that I’ve seen that I can honestly say that I both hated and suffered through and this film is on that list.

This is just a completely incomprehensible film that tries to tell a story but gets off on existential tangents the whole way through.

They try too hard here to be so philosophical that they forget that people go to the movies to watch an interesting story and not wish to ponder the meaning of life in two hours.

The visuals of this film are nice to watch, but since there is very little context involved, it takes so much away from it.

The cats that includes Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt is wasted here because instead of telling a story like we would prefer, they are usually staring off into space contemplating life as we know it.

The biggest problem here is that Malick tries too hard to make his stories philosophical instead of focusing on a coherent and interesting story.

I still can’t understand how so many people love this film and how it was able to actually win the Palme D’Or that year.

Guess I’m really missing something here….

Bottom Line – Totally incomprehensible film.  It tries too hard to be existential and forgets that people are interested in seeing a story happen on screen instead of just nice visuals.  Amazing cast is wasted because they don’t really have much to do besides look as if they are pondering life and why we are all here. Director Malick does it again, he tries to be so philosophical with his films that he forgets to actually have a coherent story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The butterfly that landed on Mrs. O’Brien’s (Jessica Chastain) hands was not CG but a real one. One morning while both Chastain and Brad Pitt were rehearsing, Terrence Malick spotted it flying around. He got the crew and Chastain following it three blocks of Smithville, then got her to step into the middle of a street and hold her hand up. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy


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13 thoughts on “The Tree of Life (2011)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2011 |

  2. Pingback: MovieRob Monthly Roundup – January 2018 |

  3. From my review:

    “If you’re interested in film as an art form, this is an essential technical watch but don’t be surprised if you’re left unsure if you’ve just seen a masterpiece or a pile of wanky, self-indulgent posturing.”


  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2011 |

  5. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2011 |

  6. Pingback: Portrait of a Young Man in Three Movements (1931) | MovieRob

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