A Terrence Malick movie is a rare treat, one that comes along once every few years and, like a tornado, destroys everything in sight. Just take a look at his filmography: BADLANDS, DAYS OF HEAVEN, THE THIN RED LINE, and THE NEW WORLD - all masterpieces. Consider this: he's been directing movies since 1973! That's almost forty years of filmmaking and only four films to his credit.
Make that five films, now, with the imminent release of THE TREE OF LIFE. Texas-native Malick has brought together the powerhouses of Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (along with relative-newcomer Jessica Chastain) to tell an epic story about humanity and life itself! At the prestigious Cannes Film Festival a few weeks back, the film was awarded the Palm d'Or, the highest honor a new film can receive.
The reviews for the film have been primarily glowing. We often reproduce the best quotes about quality films to entice those who value critical opinions. This time it feels unfair; THE TREE OF LIFE is a film to be experienced, one that a plot synopsis or interpretation or valuation of the performances will not do justice. In fact, reading too much about this film might sour the experience of seeing this film with fresh eyes, being taken by the hand and flown through the genius beauty that it has to offer.
There was one, from Nick Pinkerton in the Village Voice, that is worth repeating. "Better than a masterpiece—whatever that is—THE TREE OF LIFE is an eruption of a movie, something to live with, think, and talk about afterward." He also warns, "You shouldn’t wait for the DVD."
That's a fair a comment as any.
See THE TREE OF LIFE - starting at Lamar on June 10th.