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The Tree of Life [Blu-ray]

3.1 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler
  • Directors: Terrence Malick
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Oct. 2011
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0058HYTGG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,049 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.

“A captivating, unmissable experience” *****--Total Film
“Brad Pitt gives the strongest performance of his career”--The Telegraph
“Awe-inspiring” *****--The Independent
“A masterpiece” *****--The Guardian
“Magnificent” *****--The Times

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Adam VINE VOICE on 12 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I took a chance on this film after hearing various bewildered critical responses from cinema goers and critics. At issue seemed to be the sprawling cosmic imagery, intercutting scenes of family drama, with sequences involving dinosaurs being singled out for especial derision.
Still, intrigued, I rented this, and I am incredibly glad that I did.
The film is long and sprawling, and you are put in the mind frame for the human wrestling the transcendent straightaway, with a quote from the Book of Job, the voice of God, no less;
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world..."
The film unfolds at a searching, meditative pace, but we go straight to intense human drama, with the O'Brien family receiving news of the death of a son. The action then rewinds, through the mind's eye of Sean Penn's middle aged architect reflecting on his boyhood with this family, and the character of the mother (Jessica Christian) reflecting on the twin paths of 'Grace' and 'Nature.'
The interplay between the sons and the parents in the America of their day (50's Texas) is the human drama of the film. The mother is all gentleness and grace, but with steel too. The father (an impressive Brad Pitt), authoritarian and wounded, is scarred into an oppressive attitude to his boys by what he sees as the merciless, Darwinian struggle of life.
The Sean Penn character, as a boy, grows and rebels, increasingly testing his father. There are also landmark events that further underscore the frightening side of life. The drowning of a boyhood friend is a particularly chilling and effective example of this, with the grotesque suddenness and splintering horror of it breaking in when least expected to a carefree community event.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have a cautious love for this film. An oddity in some ways, seeking to place the story of one family and their regrets in the context of the beginning of existence and the eventual end of the world. Majestically shot, superbly acted, but perhaps Malick could have placed the very important dialogue (of which there is not that much in the whole film) a bit higher in the mix. Subtitles helped me out here in a way that people who saw the film in the cinema weren't blessed with. With great art comes the risk of great pretentiousness and this is certainly a film that walks the tightrope between the two.Which side of the tightrope you fall off and land in will be very much about who, and how reflective you are.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The difference between Art and Entertainment is that Art demands something of the viewer. This is a very demanding film and many have refused the demand. For those who do respond it rewards with a new narrative style, visual beauty, and profound (and challenging) theological insight into the value and cost of human life. I have shown this movie 14 times to friends and still cannot take my eyes from the screen.
Chastain glows and Pitt gives his best ever performance, achingly true,
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a very unusual film - on the one hand, beautifully artistic and poignant; and on the other hand, displaying minimalist story-telling and limited character development. It is a very surreal movie, reminiscent of 'Love' (2011) and 'Space Odyssey' (1968) inasmuch as there's very little dialogue - and the characters do very little. It's concerned with thought, feeling and contemplation - and is intended to provoke thoughts and feelings ... At its core, the film is about two parents (played by Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt) who, during the 1950's and 1960's, raise their three children - in a loving but rather authoritarian manner, adhering to Christian traditions. Tragically, one of their sons dies at the age of 19. This loss is devastating, and causes enduring suffering. The movie shifts between the past and the present. And today one of their sons (played by Sean Penn) still mourns the loss. But how such tragedy is depicted is highly unconventional.

The visuals are stunning. It's as if the purpose is to design a piece of art. We see trees blowing in the winds, birds dancing in the air, clouds going past ... And as the mother whispers about her loss to God, asking why her son has been taken, the film embarks on a grand journey. We witness the cosmos in all its grandeur. We see the galaxy, full of stars and nebula. We see the early Earth, being bombarded by meteorites. Volcanoes erupting. Water flowing. And primitive life emerges ... and evolves. We see dinosaurs, and their ultimate extinction. This is the journey life has taken. And to inquire about one life in particular, its meaning and why death has occurred, is a question asked against the backdrop of life in all its radiant entirety.

This is a long film, without a definitive narrative.
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Format: DVD
The Tree of Life ironically deals with the topic of death. The film tells you to turn up the sound so you can hear all the first person narration. When their son dies at the age of 19 parents cope with the loss and question their faith, but not severely question their faith that would alter their life style. After the characters are introduced, we still see Sean Penn doesn't own a comb. The film digresses into a Discovery Channel special which condenses the modern version of creation of 14.7 billion years into about 12 minutes. I felt like we had passed into the monolith.

We now start all over with the birth of the children. Hey, we already know one dies. There are things that are whispered. These are meant to be ideas or questions for God. Brad Pitt metaphorically represents the "tough love" God who prepares us for life's journey without us realizing it. Hence we have the macrocosm and microcosm in our tale. One could assume that the microcosm of our life is reflective of our theological views, we carve out a tough love God based upon our tough love "Father". At one point in the movie Brad Pitt insists his son call him "Father" and never "Dad." Having lived in the south, that is a no-no. "Father" is reserved for the heavenly Father. That is a hint of the symbolism. A sermon stresses the book of Job and asks, "Is the scheme of life a fraud?"

Not for everyone. I was very bored until I figured out what they were attempting to do. I think the beauty of the film is that different people can grasp a different meaning from it. It doesn't spell it out. My review is one take.
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