Starring Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, The tree of life follows the story of a boy who witnesses the loss of innocence when he sees the death of his friends he is then faced with the conflict of accepting the way of grace or nature.
Let me start by saying this film is in no way for everyone, its a marmite film, you'll either love it or hate it. Personally I loved it. This film has got to be the most beautiful films, in terms of cinematography, that I have ever seen. The first half hour of the film is centered around the beginning of time and the creation of the earth, showing the most stunning pictures of the world around us, with fitting opera music over the top. For me this scene completely personified the film, you could've paused the film every 30 seconds, and you would be faced with a fascinating picture that could hang on your wall. Every scene was art.
After this awe-inspiring scene the film just kept on delivering. When were introduced to the boy for the first time the main story really starts to kick in. The scene in which he is introduced, in itself is also fantastic, showing childbirth, through an abstract scene in which the child exits his underwater bedroom and rises to the surface. What in-sues after this point is a story of such beauty, filmed with such elegance, about a boys childhood. Brad Pitt plays the brutal father and the nature, side of life. While the comforting mother represents grace. Both characters are acted with such passion and because of this the film becomes more enticing, and real. However the real acting credit goes to the eldest boy, played by Hunter McCraken, to meet the heavy demands of the main character with such realism is an incredible feet especially at such a young age.
But don't get me wrong, there are clear problems with the film, Sean Penn's role being the most prominent problem, for one main reason. Why is he in the film! He doesn't need to be their, in fact I would go far as saying it would be a better film without him there. I realize the intentions of Terrence Malic for including him in the film. But he doesn't need to be there, and I think the film suffers because of his appearance. The scenes without him are the best but the scenes with him are the worst and most pretentious.
Being the most beautiful film that I have ever seen it would be impossible for me not to give this film a high rating, however the inclusion of Sean Penn does put a downer on the film for me. I will finish this review the same way I started it by saying, this film is definitely not for everyone, you'll either love it or hate it.