Terrence Malick’s films are so hard to describe (and Christ are they hard to review, I frankly get hives thinking about having to write a review that will do them justice). Mind you, they’re not “hard” in the sense that it’s difficult to throw out a synopsis, it’s just that the synopsis is just an easy way into what are very complex films. To this day, his “The Thin Red Line” still ranks as the best WWII movie I’ve ever seen, but it was unfortunately eclipsed by Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan”, which came out at about the same time.
Malick’s latest, “The Tree of Life” opens this Friday. I highly, highly recommend seeking out the movie if you’re in the mood for more than just some slam-bang action. He’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, and frankly, I’m not going to chastise you for it, cause, well, he’s just not for everyone. Here are two clips and a featurette to get you caught up.
From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as BADLANDS, DAYS OF HEAVEN and THE THIN RED LINE, THE TREE OF LIFE is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.
Starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Fiona Shaw, Jessica Chastain, Joanna Going, Kari Matchett, and directed by Terrence Malick.
Get more images and videos in our “The Tree of Life” preview page.