Created on Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:15
Written by Samantha See
The Tree of Life, wonderfully put together by writer-director Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The New World) and starring both Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, achieved the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film festival in May.
Mr O'Brien (Brad Pitt), a classical music lover forced apart from his passions by practicalities, rules the household with an iron fist while his warm, motherly wife showers their three children – Jack (Hunter McCracken), R.L. (Laramie Eppler) and Steve (Tye Sheridan) – with all the maternal love they need. But what seems like a normal family life is actually not. Mr O'Brien turns out to be abusive and this causes tension between his elder son, Jack, and he. And Sean Penn plays Jack in his adult form, protective of his endearing mother, Mrs O'Brien (Jessica Chastain).
Impressively, the director has managed to make a boring portrayal of aTexan family's lives through loss, death and family bonds into quite something else. Taking us from the Big Bang to the screwed up current world to the family for one. Seconds, silence was a great cinematic tool used in this film. Third, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki with a handheld camera has created a series of stunning visuals worth pausing the film for too.
Malick's rare films – only 5 in almost four decades – has caused quite the anticipation, and our verdict is, like all good things, it deserved the wait.
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