The Tree of Life (US, 2011)

Looking for meaning

The Thin Red Line (US, 1998) is one of my favourite film so I was looking forward to director Terrence Malick’s latest. However I was pleased when it finished despite the film including some of the most beautifully imagery I’ve seen in cinema. It’s good to see a Hollywood film grappling with big questions (‘the meaning of life’) but this didn’t offer anything convincing to me. One of the difficulties I had was reconciling the young Jack as played by Sean Penn in the present: I think he should have been much older. A minor point. A major issue, however, was the religiosity of the ending; the big turn off for me.

Most extraordinary in the film was the long sequence depicting the beginning of the world. I loved this, including the CGI dinosaurs, though the sheer beauty of the imagery did recall the banality of music videos.

Full marks for ambition.

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