peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2011 07 03 TheTreeOfLife

The Tree of Life (2011)

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At the 9.15pm session at the dear old Verona. There were a surprising number of people at the bar and at this session (and the other movie at a similar time). Movie Club tickets are getting expensive: for $13 I hoped not to have someone mouth-breathing behind me and so forth. Anyway...

This is a Terrence Malick flick. If it wasn't I wouldn't have been there. I think I went to see his The Thin Red Line at the cinema for the same reason; the critics go ape when this great auteur cranks out something new, like they used to with Kubrick. I guess they think he is the opposite of Michael Bay.

Here we have Brad Pitt being a generically strict father in 1950s Waco Texas, and Sean Penn going all emo under GWB in 2003. The universe is born in scenes that LSD fans have been waiting for since 2001. (The star child need not be jealous, however.) Yes, it is impressionistic, but it is more scattered and mildly incoherent. The aesthetic is probably Mad Men (but I don't watch that). Jessica Chastain is luminous but lacks any kind of inner life; her faith in god, dotage on her children and under explored entanglement with Brad Pitt is the limit of her character. (We see the rough edges of their marriage and Pitt's disappointments, but I have no idea what she wants from life.)

Yeah, it's not a bad way to pass the time, but you really need to be in the mood for an extended melancholic trip. No distractions!

Dana Stevens, yeah.