Plot-From one of my favorite directors Terrence Malick ( Badlands, The Thin Red Line) comes this 2 hour plus film that is about a family in the 1950’s. The story centers around Jack and how he tries to reconcile his relationship with his father, and as he grows older starts to question things like life, and faith.
Review-Come Oscar time, you almost know this will have what 10 nominations. Malick and Sean Penn together created magic once in The Thin Red Line, this time..I thought that this film was far too slow. I know Roger Ebert and all those in his ilk, will tell me the greatest modern actors are Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. While I give them both credit, they have impressive resumes and could have a strong argument to be a in hall of fame, they also have made a lot of bombs. Now, The Tree of Life is a beautifully shot film, the music and imagery are amazing. But, it was 35 minutes too long and failed to really hit home the true meaning of what a lost soul Sean Penn was as Jack growing older. It was almost like he was in a tv show mid life crisis episode and it failed to really have any energy or spark. Esp. Sean Penn being so scene stealing in films like Bad Boys and Fast Times at Ridgemont High and even Falcon and the Snowman…it just seems to me that almost just for the subject matter alone he can coast and get the oscar nod. Brad Pitt is probably one of the most one dimensional actors out there, he plays the same role over and over, and americans buy it and eat it up. I think after Seven which was his high, he should have stopped. But, each year he will put out that one film..from action to now so called cutting edge technology film making. I despised Ben Button and thought it was boring, the sad scenes just made no sense because the whole film was so rushed and just tried harder and harder to yank at your heart and it failed to really tell a good story. This film is the opposite the story and script are not the enemy here, it is the actors. This is just like seeing the actors on a episode of Nova. And I hear you Roger Ebert..film of the year..this critic..film of the year..but so was Chariots of Fire, Out of Africa, and Forrest Gump. No offense, I think movie critics love that long drawn out, over scripted, and under acted period piece a lot more than fans do.
Again, I did not totally hate the film, I just wanted more substance out of the portrayals and actors. I know Sean Penn can out act Brad Pitt, while Brad Pitt can outshine charismatically more than Sean could, but they lacked that in this film. This film just felt like a fast release to get a oscar nod. And I am a huge Malick fan, and know that when he goes in these spans of not putting out anything that when he finally does..I take notice..this time oh did I take notice…
6 out of 10