Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" is arguably the most talked about film of the year and
much of the talk revolves around whether the film is a pretentious piece of s--t or a stunning masterpiece. The Movie Slut believes it's both ostentatious and stunning and
definitely worth seeing.
Part of the pretentious problem it the whispering and mumbling of characters as if what they have to say is so terribly profound, when in fact it's quite banal, but not necessarily in a bad way, after all the Big Questions are also the old questions.
The movie begins with a churning, roiling, fiery, volcanic beginnings of our planet. (A spectacular cinematic moment.) So much for the God-created-Earth-in-six-days theory. Then we move to dinosaurs, leading us to believe that evolution is also a possibility. But then the lead female character whispers something about two paths to choose from in life, Grace or Nature.
Grace meaning the Christian idea that God will help us on our path. Nature says we're on our own.
So much of this film is about faith, particularly about faith at times when people feel abandoned by their God.
The characters in the movie are seen through the eyes of a boy, who grows up to be Sean Penn. His father is Brad Pitt, with a '50s buzz cut, and his mom is the luminous Jessica Chastain in a fabulous '50s wardrobe.
Many of the family scenes resemble Ralph Lauren commercials of a beautiful family performing ordinary activities.
The broad strokes of these scenes can be off-putting until you remember they're seen, not only through the eyes, but also through the memories of Sean Penn's character.
So, the MS has told you far too much about this movie but felt compelled to because it's been so maligned and revered. "Tree" is a visual and auditory (thanks to a spectacular soundtrack) masterpiece. Don't let all the extreme talk keep you from seeing this exceptional work of movie art.
Have a listen.