|"...no one can be told what The Matrix is..."|
Beautiful. Touching. Heart-wrenching. WTF? Yeah, that's how I'd summarize Terrance Malick's new film, The Tree of Life. Malick has been a director for over forty years but the dude has only directed six films throughout the course of his career. I had only seen one of his movies before this, 2005's The New World but I remember loving that film when it came out (my girlfriend HATED it) so on the strength of my memories from Malick's Pocahontas romp, I bought our tickets and dragged my girl to yet another Malick experiment, The Tree of Life.
The good news is she didn't hate this one. The bad news, we were both drained and confused as fuck when we left the theater. Not confused as fuck, more like, fucking confused. The Tree of Life literally encompasses the beginning of all life in the universe while simultaneously crafting a poignant coming of age story set in 1950's America. Talk about lofty goals. If it weren't for the twenty minute Kubrick-esque head trip and the wishy-washy ending I'd say Malick's latest film would be in the running for my favorite film of 2011 (hell, it still probably will be). I don't want to spoil what little plot there is, but it's a very powerful drama that will touch anyone with a beating heart. Life, death, innocence, spirituality, love, hate, anger, joy, sorrow, regrets, forgiveness...dinosaurs. That's what The Tree of Life is all about. Make sense?
|who's awesome? This cast is awesome.|
As for Malick, he's an artist in every sense of the world. He uses the camera like Van Halen shreds guitar. Intricate little nuances (wind blowing in the grass) turn into larger than life shots of the cosmos (no really, that). Aesthetically, the film is amazing. It's so easy to get caught up in The Tree of Life's dazzling images and haunting soundscapes it's kind of scary. Too bad the film's oddball overreaching sequences detract from what is otherwise a truly immersing film experience.