Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick's fifth directorial effort, has been described already as a 'tone poem'.  There is perhaps no better way of defining it, though I will try at various times throughout this entry.  It's less film than symphonic union of music and image.  It rises and falls and sweeps through emotions and time, contrasting microcosms with macrocosms and finding intangible comparisons in all that's bound by simple molecules.  Malick does not presume to define the outline of his story.  He sets his pieces on an infinite stage that traverses all of time and space, and within these largely unnamed characters we glimpse both vague and specific.  They are bodies in orbit, pushing and pulling away from one another.  They're a family unit, ourselves, our parents, our neighbors, our friends, and yet they are none of these people just as The Tree of Life is as much a movie as a photography exhibition, opera, or anthology of poetry...

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