New To Blu: The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick's latest art house film,The Tree of Life, is a misdirected piece of cinema that is truly one of the most self indulgent pieces I've ever seen. While I understood it's message of a mother's undying love, god, and the after life, I can honestly say the movie was over long and much too ethereal to garner any hope of on Oscar nod. Malick has never been a simple film maker, but this movie was just too self absorbed and obscure.

The Tree of Life tells the tale of an emotionally broken home that has fallen victim to a father's misguided love and the despondency it can cause in the home. All the while, the bond between brothers grows stronger. The message is clear but not digestible when we're constantly thrown into beautiful but pain staking slow motion scenes of space, the sun, and prehistoric asteroid collisions.

The scenery is graceful, the soundtrack placed tastefully, the cinematography like a portrait, the acting some of Brad Pitt's best, but it all amounts to a self serving vision that Malick has devised in to one of the most boring movies I've ever seen. Even the costume and set design were period perfect but still not enough to save this movie from Malick's vainglorious tendencies.

I cannot recommend this movie despite it's stunning cinematography, beautiful soundtrack and divine view of the heavens. It was an arduous task to endure The Tree of Life. If you want to experience Malick's best, have a screening of Days of Heaven. That is his masterpiece.

EDIT: 10-18-11 My review of this movie has been a perfect example of how polarizing a film this is. I have decided that some of my opinions may have been based on my own interpretation of the film and what I thought the message was. In the coming weeks, I am going to give this film another try as I am a fan of Malick and his other work. This may be the perfect time to watch me eat my words.