The Tree of Life | Indy Week

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Rated PG-13 · 138 min. · 2011

Drama, SciFi/Fantasy


Terrence Malick's fifth film traverses billions of years, chronicling the big bang, the spewing of lava from volcanoes, the successive emergence of single-celled organisms, invertebrates and dinosaurs, followed by mass extinction and rebirth, all to settle on the haggard, self-regarding face of Sean Penn. Buried under the millennia of earthly progress, which we seem to watch in real time, is a story of a Texas childhood in the 1950s. Most interesting, however, is the portrait of the father, played by Brad Pitt. Tightly wound and self-righteous, grimly determined to be an impregnable fortress of rectitude and solidity for his family, Pitt's Mr. O'Brien is terrifying and pathetic. Pitt knows this character, and he's utterly convincing; it's one of the few occasions I've been able to forget that he's a movie star. Malick's pictures are always pretty, but The Tree of Life is finally an overblown, overlong wallow in eye candy, vaporous spirituality and whispered voiceovers that promise pleasure and a climax that never arrives.


See our full review: Terrence Malick's latest visual epic, <i>The Tree of Life</i>

Terrence Malick's latest visual epic, The Tree of Life

Malick claimed the prestigious Palme d'Or with The Tree of Life, and with this effort, he's tripping along at a rate of about one film per decade. »

Official Site: www.foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Producer: Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill and William Pohlad
Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Joanna Going, Fiona Shaw, Jackson Hurst, Pell James, Crystal Mantecon, Jessica Chastain, Lisa Marie Newmyer and Jennifer Sipes

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