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The Tree of Life

There’s Brad Pitt. And there’s Sean Penn. And there’s... wait, what’s that? A dinosaur? Seriously?

Not Terra Nova.

And what’s this? A floating girl? I don’t get it.

Anyway, this film doesn’t seem to have any straight-up narrative in the traditional sense. It looks like a montage of various scenes, put together in a stream of consciousness fashion. It’s actually beautiful to look at, especially with the handheld camera movement giving it a documentary feel. But two hours of this? I’m not really sure.

The film starts out by showing us that something happened to Brad Pitt’s son. He has three sons, and I don’t know which one we’re talking about. I'm thinking the eldest. We don’t even know if the son died or what. Maybe he went to prison. But if one of them died, it’s definitely not Sean Penn, because he grows up to be an adult. The thing is, you really want to know what happened, and that’s why you’ll endure this for a little over two hours.

And in the end, we really don’t know what happened. I’m guessing he died. But how? We don’t know. Writer-director Terrence Malick never tells us. What he does is bore the audience for nothing.

"Come on, slap me, this film is so boring I'm getting sleepy."

Also, you do not put Sean Penn in a movie where he doesn’t talk much. You’d be wasting his acting talents that way. Unless you got him to do it for free.

"Whatever, man."

This film has some redeeming qualities, though. These are the National Geographic shots, and the cinematography, which I’m guessing might be nominated for an Oscar. Nice work, Emmanuel Lubezki.

What the hell is that?

The Tree of Life. USA. 2011.

Original rating: Six out of ten.
Cinematography: Plus half a point.
Final rating: Six and a half out of ten.

*GIFs from VLC


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