Customer Review

170 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually Stunning and Deeply Moving, February 17, 2012
This review is from: The Tree Of Life (DVD)
The Tree of Life is not only a movie, but an experience. It's a visually stunning, deeply moving and perfectly acted film. And if you know what to expect, you may enjoy it as much as I did.

But be warned. The Tree of Life does not have a linear narrative, and doesn't tell a story as much as it shows it. And the regular viewer--that is, most of us--, used to be told in images and words what we are supposed to see and feel, may find this story hard to follow.

The movie starts with a flaming light and a quotation from the Book of Job: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation...while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

Then we are shown a woman (Jessica Chastain) as she learns in a letter the death of her son, age 19. In her grief and despair, enhanced by the absence of sound in the subsequent images, the mother questions God's design in such a seemingly cruel act.

From here, the movie proceeds in two alternating levels. One shows the creation of the universe, the gathering of dust that made the planets, the apparition of microscopic life, scenes from the time of the dinosaurs and the destruction of most life on Earth as a consequence of a meteor hitting our planet.

In another level we are shown images from the life of a contemporary middle aged man (Sean Penn): his birth in the 1950s to a loving mother (Jessica Chastain), his growing up in Texas under a strict father (Brad Pitt), his rebellion as an adolescent and his relationship with his two younger brothers. The second, the one he is closer to, will die later at 19 as we learned at the beginning of the movie.

The story unfolds in pieces and bits, the way our memory works: some scenes from our past are vividly clear while others are lost. The overall picture that unfolds is both that of a unique human being and an universal story.

If the movie sounds dreadfully boring, it's my fault. The Tree of Life maybe slow but it's never boring.

So, in conclusion, if you want an adrenaline rush, a fast moving thriller or a light comedy, don't watch The Tree of Life. But if you want to take a break from a too stressful life and step in a world made out of memories and dreams. If you are ready to be moved and awed and inspired, then this movie is perfect for you.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 21, 2012 8:32:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012 8:34:04 PM PST
Sassa Frass says:
I hated this one the first time I saw it, came in on the middle though and had no idea what was going on. Gave it another chance and loved it!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 11:35:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 11:35:45 AM PST
Rob C. says:
I am glad that you enjoyed this film, many people would agree with you.

But you were right the first time....this film was boring, for me at least.

This film has split the reviews right down the middle.

Here is an alternative point of view:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPSljqJ6wb8

Anyway, each to their own, this is just a film after all.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2013 6:04:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 12, 2013 6:04:46 PM PDT
JNagarya says:
And yet you're here reading other's views in order to challenge your own conclusion. That is the very least art can do: compel one to ask questions about one's own assumptions and views; and that is worthwhile in every instance.

Posted on Dec 23, 2013 3:58:20 AM PST
J. Calcote says:
Beautifully written review. It's been on my "to watch" list ever since I saw a trailer for it so I was going to watch it anyway, but your review definitely convinced me not to pass it up.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2013 11:39:57 AM PST
Happy that you liked my review. Enjoy the movie!
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