The Tree of Life Movie Review

The Tree of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line), is a film that I had really high hopes for going in to. The trailer really got me interested in it. And the reviews were very positive. So, were expectations met? For the most part, yes there were.

The story is about an ordinary family living in the 1950s. There’s a father who works hard and is very stern (Brad Pitt). There’s a mother who is very kind and pretty strongly religious (Jessica Chastain). They have three young sons all around the same age.

At the start of the film we see that one of the sons dies. But it isn’t until later that it’s revealed which son it was or how it happened. Then we flash back to what I can assume is a few months earlier and the movie continues from there. The film jumps around a lot. We have another story where we see one of the sons as an adult (played by Sean Penn) still grieving over his brother’s death.

At one point in the film we cut to a montage showing the creation of the universe and the dawn of time. These moments in the film are beautifully photographed. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is just all around astounding. Not just in these sequences, but throughout the whole film it was just beautiful to look at.

The performances were all really good, especially from Brad Pitt. He really got into his character. The story was well fleshed out and seemed very realistic. The characters and their actions were believable. The characters were also very well-developed. They had a lot of depth to them.

The only problem that I had with it was that there moments in the movie, mostly during those sequences showing the dawn of time, where I just felt really bored. It was just so slow and it lacked any real dialogue and plot. But that’s me. Luckily the film picked up in the second half. So it made up for that first half which I wasn’t entirely fond of.

The movie is currently playing in limited release so you’re going to have to do some searching for it. You could wait until it opens wide on July 8th. But I think it’s worth checking out as soon as possible.

My overall rating is an 8/10.

By:  John D’Amico

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