Monday, June 06, 2011

Terence Malick "The Tree of Life" a quick review

Do not see this movie. *not*

This is a pretentious load of hooey. It can't decide whether it's a drama about a vaguely dysfunctional family in Waco, TX during the fifties, or a Sagan-esque journey through the cosmos, and it certainly never connects the two, meaning you actually get two movies for the price of one. This would be fine, except it feels like it's all in real time. Yes - the history of the universe. I was ready to gnaw my arm off by the end.

I have to say the visual direction is stunning. Some scenes are achingly beautiful. But there's no plot, and virtually no action. You just sit there, watching Seán Penn go up and down an elevator, or planets forming, or Brad Pitt glaring angrily at his family, or teenage boys running around a neighborhood.

The philosophy is banal pseudo-Christian hokum. A mysterious voice whispers platitudes and plaintive vaguely-Old Testamenty questions over shots of galaxies. The family is bereaved off-screen, and who dies is anybody's guess, but it's all OK because a big crowd, which includes the family, is finally reunited with everybody they love in what looks like a cross between a zombie-convention on a beach and one of those hilarious pictures of heaven from the Watchtower.

Then there a shot of a bridge, and the movie ends.

I want my $12 back.


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