For those of you that don't know a little film called "Tree of Life", it finally came out this Friday, it's directed by the mysterious philosophizing Terrence Malick starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn and some amazing brilliant little young actors. Basically "Tree of Life" shows a day in the life of Sean Penn, which happens to be the anniversary of his younger brother's death. The movie flashes back and forth between Penn reliving his childhood (from infancy to adolescence) and his current life as an employee in some type of corporate glass empty-soul kind of building.
I went into this movie with a completely open mind - well, almost completely open except for the fact that the trailers blew my mind. This film not only reminded me of my childhood, it took me back to it. While watching it, I literally FELT what it was like to be a kid again. I felt smaller, I remembered smells, sounds, fears AND the terrifying realization that everything you know and innocently take advantage of ends. The way the film was shot, especially during the younger childlike sequences was filmed in a very play-like manner, the camera moved, curiously exploring the children's world - their backyard and house - rocking back and forth between sky and earth, looking up at what we don't know and don't question yet and down at the ground that pulls us toward our homes.
After seeing the movie, my boyfriend Rob asked me how I felt about it. It was actually hard to speak. I couldn't really form words without crying and that's what happened. Now, don't get me wrong, I HATE to cry during movies or about movies, especially in public, but I just started crying on Houston Street on a Friday night. Hipsters passing by judging me, other "Tree of Life" viewers planning their dessert plans or general hatred for the movie (hopefully others liked it and I'm sure they did). For some reason this movie really broke me down. It may be one of the best movies I've ever seen. It may also be too early to say this for sure, but I do know that other than a little trilogy back in the early 2000's, I've never been so affected by a movie. All this being said, I would not recommend "Tree of Life" for many people. I don't want to be blamed for people not understanding the cosmic sequences, the whispering VO's or the not-so-linear storyline. I will say that if you ever think about where you came from, where you're going and why you are, then go see Tree of Life. And then call me so we can talk.