Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tree of Life

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Roger Ebert : 4/5
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain

Written & Directed by: Terrence Malick

Two Brad Pitt movies in a row!

The movie starts off in the 50’s where you find out that Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien (Pitt and Chastain) have just lost one of their sons. Skip to, what I assume is, present day where Jack (Penn) is having trouble in his life due to what he grew up with as a child. The camera angles and editing in the scenes are perfect and interesting. I loved the whole “how the earth came to be” part of the film. It was all so beautifully orchestrated. Plus, fuck yeah dinosaurs! It honestly took me until the volcano’s to understand what was happening, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen, it was just so beautiful.
Then we get to the more difficult part, the harsher parts of life. Jack, growing up under a strict father, becomes more rebellious, but he never strays so far that he loses his guilty feeling for whatever he has done. It was interesting to see Brad Pitt in such an aggressive role, but it was also pretty difficult to watch. He did a truely great job, as did the rest of the cast. Its really easy to see how times have changed in the last 60 years. The amount of discipline seen in this movie was normal in that time, but I think its clear that it doesn’t always work the way Mr. O’Brien(Pitt) wanted it to. Jack especially grew to resent his father even praying to “God” for him to die a couple of times. Mr. O’Brien seemed to really want the feeling of love from his children, but even he wasn’t stupid enough to see that it wasn’t always there. Mrs. O’Brien(Chastain) then had the difficult job of trying to provide the children with a form of love they could understand. It must’ve been so difficult to sit back and watch your husband give such a hard punishment back then. The acting by the children was fantastic. All three of the O’Brien children were just wonderful. I love seeing new child actors doing such a great job. According to IMDB this was all 3 of their first films, which is pretty impressive! This is the third movie I’ve seen Jessica Chastain in, in the last month, and she’s really been choosing some great films, and has really shown her skill and diversity.
The only complaint I have is that I wish they had shown a little more of an older Jack (Penn) and shown the effects later in life. Also, did I miss how his brother died, because I don’t remember learning the details of that. I heardPenn say that he died when he was 19 but thats about it, I think I might’ve missed a few things in the whispers.
The story and writing was great. I think its important for this movie that the writing and directing were both done by Terrence Malick, as I’m not sure it would’ve had the same effect if it was one person trying to see another persons vision. This film really shows how important life is, and how easily it can be taken away.

Overall I’d give this movie a 7.5/10. Great score, great writing, great acting.