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TREE OF LIFE, THE [DVD]
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a family over time.
The long front lawns of summer afternoons, the flicker of sunlight as it sprays through tree branches, the volcanic surge of the Earth's interior as the planet heaves itself into being--you certainly can't say Terrence Malick lacks for visual expressiveness. The Tree of Life is Malick's long-cherished project, a film that centres on a family in 1950s Waco, Texas, yet also reaches for cosmic significance in the creation of the universe itself. The Texas memories belong to Jack (Sean Penn), a modern man seemingly ground down by the soulless glass-and-metal corporate world that surrounds him. We learn early in the film of a family loss that happened at a later time, but the flashbacks concern only the dark Eden of Jack's childhood: his games with his two younger brothers, his frustrated, bullying father (Brad Pitt), his one-dimensionally radiant mother (Jessica Chastain). None of which unfolds in anything like a conventional narrative, but in a series of disconnected scenes that conjure, with poetry and specificity, a particular childhood realm. The contributions of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and production designer Jack Fisk cannot be underestimated in that regard, and it should be noted that Brad Pitt contributes his best performance: strong yet haunted.
And how does the Big Bang material (especially a long, trippy sequence in the film's first hour) tie into this material? Yes, well, the answer to that question will determine whether you find Malick's film a profound exploration of existence or crazy-ambitious failure full of beautiful things. Malick's sincerity is winning (and so is his exceptional touch with the child actors), yet many of the movie's touches are simultaneously gaseous (amongst the bits of whispered narration is the war between nature and grace, roles assigned to mother and father) and all-too-literal (a dinosaur retreats from nearly killing a fellow creature--the first moments of species kindness, or anthropomorphic poppycock?). The Tree of Life premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Palme d'Or there after receiving boos at its press screening. The debate continues, unabated, from that point. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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on 17 September 2017
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Would have made a great photo album but cannot decide if it wants to be a documentary about evolution or a family squabble-drama. So much talent misfiring here, both Pitt and Penn miscast. If it is meant to be secretly Qabalistic, you got me there guys, not seeing it. Definitely art house and way weirder than David Lynch, whose work I do find satisfying.
on 25 September 2017
Format: Amazon VideoVerified Purchase
Obviously this is a matter of taste, and perhaps I didn't give the film a proper chance, but after about half an hour I switched off, as it had still not engaged me. It's arty and it's deliberately confusing, but that wouldn't normally put me off, I think I didn't like watching it because the film makers had not managed to make me really care about the protagonists.
on 12 September 2017
Format: Amazon VideoVerified Purchase
Thought provoking film, confusing in parts, art direction and natural history footage stunning. Just tries a little to hard in places which spoil the flow of the films story. You perhaps need to watch it more than once to get a lot of the more subtle aspects of the film. Found the whispered comments hard to hear at times. You need to watch it all the way through to get the feel good factor from it. Mixed feelings around recommending it to anyone
on 22 July 2016
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
A very weird film, really pretentious as it tries so much symbolism with how the world formed and dinosaurs and strange monologues from Sean Penn. I somewhat enjoyed the story with the boys and their parents but for the very lengthy segments of animals, space and the symbolic journey Sean Penn is on I was bored senseless, can't believe I made it to the end.
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Most recent customer reviews
Pretension. It’s a funny thing. I prescribe to the Monica Bing school of thought, that a little bit of pretension never hurt anyone.Read more
This flim and story are good but it is much deep and insight philosophical flim... Not every one understand or suitable this flim.... It is very much like Lars Von Trier style...Read more
Terence Malick is America's greatest living film-maker. This film (like much of his recent work) is as much a work of philosophy -- or more precisely, theology -- as it is a...Read more
Deep and meaningful but if you have the time to watch it properly with an open mind you would like the poignance
I bought this after reading a review on Amazon on how 'if I like this you'll definitely like this one'. Well, ok I did enjoy it, in a way.Read more
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