*** This review definitely contains spoilers ***
Wow, just scrolling over the user reviews here shows that the opinions are very much mixed on this film. I am sorry to say that I am with the ones that are negative about this film.
Yesterday I went to see "The Tree Of Life" with high expectations. I am not familiar with Terrence Malick's movies but I was drawn by the names of Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Quality stuff
or so I thought. This is now the first time EVER that I walked out of a movie and - mind you - I have seen quite a few, ranging from very very good to very very dull. This one I found unbearable.
I am a sucker for slow storytelling and it takes a lot for me to find a movie too slow, but something is not right when I start thinking to myself while I am watching the beginning: "OK, they could have left this out". At the BEGINNING of a movie! All the way through the first half hour I was thinking: "when is this movie actually going to start?" To me, that first half hour did not contain any storytelling. After endless images of beautiful landscapes (very befitting a BBC-documentary) with a very odd short bit about dinosaur-like creatures in there I thought there was finally going to be some sort of story. And there was, to my relief, albeit not a real story in my view but more a collection of short scenes. However it clearly depicted the family dynamics and gave a good impression of the tyranny of the Brad Pitt character.
And then, without rhyme or reason, the family moves house and a sequence of incomprehensible scenes (for example the one in which characters of past and present mingle on the beach) begins all over again. This, combined with the whispered comments (those really got on my nerves) all through the movie were too much for me and I decided to call it a night. I am not proud of walking out but I really couldn't take it any longer, especially since I knew I was only about two thirds in. I was not the first one to leave the cinema by the way.
It has to be said that the imagery and photography of this movie were flawless, but that is really all the praise I can give. I just did not understand it, obviously I am too thick for this kind of movie.
A loose thing that bothered me is that the son who dies is 19 years old, but the actress playing his mother (Jessica Chastain) does not look a day older than 25 when she receives the telegram about his death right at the beginning of the movie. I was irritated by that right away and that stayed with me all the way through. Changing a woman's hair from 'down' to 'up' does not necessarily make her look older, Terrence. A little bit more effort in that respect would have been good.
I am happy that there are reviews here giving this movie 10 out of 10, because that only shows that movie-goers are a diverse audience. A chacun son goût! It was just not mon goût.
13 out of 28 found this helpful