5/22/12 I viewed this film again and once more found it to be a beautiful, far reaching, and spellbinding work and just wanted to add that I can't imagine anyone, other than the most closed minded of individuals, not being able to connect with this movie, at least on some level.
6/24/11 In a career spanning almost 40 years, director Terrence Malick has made only five films. Yet each time he does, he strives to create a masterwork bringing his grand vision and stunningly beautiful visuals to the screen. With The Tree of Life, a movie possibly inspired by his childhood in Texas, Malick has crafted perhaps his most ambitious film to date. The film tells of Jack (Hunter McCracken), living in a Texas town with his brothers, his lighthearted mother (Jessica Chastain) and his stern but loving father (Brad Pitt). As the film shows Jack in present day (Sean Penn), we see his relationship with his father and how he grew into such disillusionment. At the same time this story is being presented we get glimpses of the cosmos, the creation of the world, dinosaurs, The Ice Age, and the evolution of life. The Tree of Life is a high aiming and stunning film, replete with beautiful images and landscapes. Brad Pitt is wonderful as Jack's father, portraying a complicated character and McCracken is equally fine as the young Jack. Sean Penn's character's story is underdeveloped, and like many Malick films this is light on plot development. Still, this is another beautiful work from poetic writer/director who never ceases to swing for the fences.