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The Tree of Life
- Director: Terrence Malick
- Release Date: May 2011
- Run Time: 138
- Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
I think atheists are hysterically humorous as they thrash about trying to fill the hole in their spirits left by the vacuum of their non-belief in “GOD.” Yet they seek and search for the author of something they can accept “the Good Orderly Direction.” Recovering drunks are good at that too. Some say we are the best at it. Even if we believe in capital G God we are much like the struggling atheist who laments “Why me?” only to be bludgeoned by the simple truth: had you been around at the beginning of time to see the entire mystery laid into place, to wait for your arrival, would it help you and the other squirming souls understand your lives better?
Terrence Malick takes this on in “The Tree of Life.” I haven’t seen a Malick film since he cast Jim Keviezel in the best film about war ever made “The Thin Red Line.” Malick can take a simple human scenario and make you see it through somebody else’s eyes. You give Malick your eyes and say “Show me. I can’t see until you do it for me.” Absolutely unrivaled talent as a film maker, Malick mesmerizes in “Tree.”
Ever had the temptation to tell a story that didn’t have a convenient beginning? I mean, the story required the listener to understand a few things before the story was to have any real meaning they could grasp. So you start telling it and you end up, well, going all the way back to “and on the seventh day He rested.” You have to go that far back to really tell the story. No? Oh, okay. Well that is what Malick does to tell the story of Jack’s childhood in the film
I kid you not. As Jack (Sean Penn) seeks to understand why his life is what it is like he has to go all the way back to Creation, the Big Bang, the cooling of the Earth and the slow asteroid descending death blast against the dinosaurs. Malick pulls it off. He does all of that so we can understand Jack through a child’s eyes, down to the “slant” of the light. Brad Pitt plays Jack’s father. You do not want to miss this visually stunning tale through the eyes of another, who is still in touch with his inside child.