Saturday, June 11, 2011

"The Tree of Life"

Well, we have a movie that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival today.

I... I honestly don't have a lead-in, so...


Ah, let's just get to today's movie.

The Tree of Life

... (Brad Pit, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn)

Yes, this review has no summary.

Honestly, this is one of those incredibly rare movies that defies being summarized in a short little paragraph while leaving the rest of the review to talk about what makes the movie work/not work. You could say it's because the plot is paper thin. You could say it's because the characters aren't named. You could say that it's because there's not enough said even in the silence.

But I say that it's impossible to summarize because it's just not that kind of movie. This movie is not about plot in any tangible sense. It's not about characters in any specific sense. If I tried to read this movie as a story with plot and characters that follows a structure, I'd be appreciating it wrong.

And I say this because watching this movie is like experiencing life. Hell, this movie is probably the best embodiment of life ever portrayed in cinema, particularly for a person looking back and trying to make sense of his place in the universe. Some of director/writer Terrence Mallick's visual imagery can be a little obtuse and very difficult to understand, particularly towards the beginning and the end of the movie. As well, there are a few needless bits that are there, and it takes a while to really get going. But ultimately, I argue that it works like life: the movie never works in climaxes, only in moments, but then we usually remember life in the important moments in life that define us. Hence, why the more drammatic moments appropriately take center stage when they need to. It's a meditation on life and our place in the universe, and Mallick's bold vision drives the movie to all of the right places.

Honestly, The Tree of Life is an oxymoron. It's extremely difficult to talk about how the experience of watching it is, and yet I know exactly why I found myself so awestruck when the credits rolled. This movie... I wouldn't call it a movie. I would call it an experience. It's a movie that requires a lot of patience and is probably not for everyone, but if you are patient enough, then it is a movie that is unlike anything you have ever seen.


A must-see picture of the year.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment