Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Tree of Life-A visual and emotional stunner

Well hello again!
What's that? You thought I'd forgotten I'd ever even started a blog? You caught me, life got crazy and it seemed the thing that could be pushed under the rug for the time was this little review site. But alas I've seen a movie that I can't not write about. It doesn't scream commercial appeal, so it wasn't in any theaters near me, until I moved to a sizable city and was able to catch it at an art film theater.
Yep, that's right I said art film. You think art films are pretentious tripe? I don't blame you, a lot of them are, but before you write The Tree of Life off as a film that movie snobs see just to add another notch in their "movies nobody understands" belts, hear me out.

Though I sometimes think of myself as a bit of a movie snob, I'm also a person who loves a wide range of movies, including some terrible terrible sorry excuses of film (Bubble Boy I'm talking about you!). So, even if I may at times sneer at your reference to "The Matrix" as a cinematic masterpeice, and may not agree with you that Philip Seymour Hoffman is "talented and multi-faceted", I appreciate all types of film and hope that gives you enough reason to not throw my opinion out with the bathwater.
      A long time ago I compiled a list of the 100 Best Movies of All Time (that I've seen), and throughout the years I've made changes as I discovered new extraordinary films. However, the last few years have seen a stagnant list. It's not that I've stopped watching as many movies, I just haven't seen any that were powerful enough to take the place of one of the existing top 100. After seeing Terrence Mallick's beautiful interpretation of the meaning of life (and it's origins) in The Tree of Life, my list is at long last welcoming a new addition. It's no easy task to bump a previous selection out of the top 100 to make room for something new, but The Tree of Life didn't ask to be put on the list, it demanded not only to be in the top 100 but in the top 50 and maybe even the top 25 (I'll have to see it again for this decision). I simply LOVED this film.
I don't have the words to describe it and the plot was...let's call it "abstract" so it's hard to lay out for you exactly what makes Tree of Life so great. All I can truly say is that, before Tree of Life, I'd never experienced a movie that put a lump in my throat and butterflies in my stomach that lasted long after I walked out of the theater. Certain moments in the movie are so intensely profound, I actually felt as though I had a window view directly into Sean Penn's character's memory.
*Sigh* I'm failing at convincing you to love this film. Simply put, I am in awe of this movie. I want to see it again, and I want you to see it with me.
4 and 3/4 out of five stars

Oh and just as a teaser, here is the trailer. Enjoy!

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