Blimey. Where to begin?
The Tree of Life reminded me of doing A Levels again. Remember those short stories where, at face value, nothing happens? But then when you delve deeper there’s so much profundity you wind up cross-eyed? It’s a film version of one of those. But much, much longer.
It’s a real conundrum of a film- as fascinating as it is tedious, as beautiful as it is brutal, as warm as it is cold, as familiar as it is alien, as simple as it is complex… You get the idea. I could literally write an entire essay on every scene.
In a nutshell, it is absolutely stunning to look at. And whilst Jessica Chastain makes it three phenomenal performances in one year, I can’t help but applaud Brad Pitt’s impressively different performance. Gone is the charming, gurning buffoon or smug Mr Smooth. Here we have a man who is regretful and tender, as well as aggressive and bullying.
Which reminds me of further themes involving family, memory, doing the wrong things for the right reasons, god vs nature, love vs discipline…
It won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you’re in the right mood (feeling sorry for myself on my sick bed certainly helped me) then you might discover something amazing in amongst the (intended) chaos.