the tree of life

I saw The Tree of Life last night… I can’t tell you what this movie is about.  There’s Brad Pitt, the creation of the universe, death in the family, dinosaurs, an abusive Brad Pitt, operatic music, hand held documentary-esque camera work, space shots, Sean Penn… and not in that particular order, but also not exclusive to that particular order.

I will forgo my usual format in reviewing this “movie.”

In short, don’t see this movie.

Don’t see this movie, I can’t recommend it.  It’s been described as a “slice of life,” the movies that fit this bill for me are; Once, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Away We Go… stuff like that.

Tree of Life reminds me of 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Koyaanisqatsi.  I like both those movies.  What Tree of Life lacks is a story, what’s the purpose for us to sit through three hours or almost random stuff?  Almost all the dialog in the movie is voice over, and scattered random voice over at that.  There’s very few times where the dialog onscreen is what we hear.

I’ve heard that The Tree of Life makes you think about life, it made me fight sleep.  I had to fend off my drowsiness with all my might, I fought back blissful, rest coupled with the possibility of a dream, and instead endured in the hopes that there would be a punchline to the movie.  Sadly, it’s as if someone kept giving you set up for a joke, just building and building up for the punchline that never comes.

There have been movies like this in the past, the first one that comes to mind is Last Year at Marienbad or the Dogme film The Celebration.  But I thought the French New Wave was over?

Thanks Terrence Malick, you’ve now taken away six hours of my life.  The other film I’ve seen of yours is The Thin Red Line, funny how both are Fox films…

I honestly tried to be open about this movie, but I could not find any redeeming qualities in it, other than it looks amazing.

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