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Big A2's avatar

Big A2

"pre•ten•tious
/priˈtenCHəs/

Adjective
Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed."

To be honest I don't think it's fair to immediately whip out labels like these for films that experiment. If we immediately reject stuff like this as an audience (aka the people’s whose money essentially funds this), then where is film as an art-form supposed to go? I’m not saying The Tree of Life has changed movies forever but you can’t blame it for trying something different.
11 years 5 months ago
Nuked's avatar

Nuked

@aniforprez: At one point in your cinematic journey, you will likely come to realize that each and everyone one of us, the people of the world, critics, peers, mere film lovers, ANYONE is different. The mere fact that you would only recommend this to "pretentious film buffs" tells me you are not yet ready to understand my previous statement.
The fact that you didn't like this film does not make you stupid. I understand many people who watch this film and don't like it, immediately will want to justify to themselves and others, that they are not stupid, and therefore labels The Tree of Life as "pretentious" and "boring". "Pretentious" of course being used as a word to describe actions or images that seemingly have no meaning and will not have any meaning upon further examination. What does this mean? Well, it doesn't mean anything. The word is useless.
But my point is: You are not stupid for not understanding, or not liking this film. We all experience joy from different things. Most film viewers attribute arbitrary values to signify the level of importance of any given film. I myself gave The Tree of Life 10/10 and proclaimed it was the greatest film I ever saw. Why did I do that? Well, what the hell do you care... Watching a film is a personal and individual experience. Don't think that it is anything but that.
12 years 3 months ago
Earring72's avatar

Earring72

Stunning visuals and poetic movie that evokes many emotions but also frustrating at times and clearly not for everyone. Sean Penn is wasted. Kid actors are terrific.
9 years 8 months ago
Midfreewayfox's avatar

Midfreewayfox

Visually stunning but still not my genre at all.
So slow and suffocating.
11 years 9 months ago
frankqb's avatar

frankqb

More of a visual poem in some ways than a storytelling film, "The Tree of Life" is a collection of scenes or memories from the life of a man centred on his childhood in Texas. It is not easy to watch, but easy to appreciate for the achievement in filmmaking that it is.

Malick's use of odd angles, inventive framing and long stretches of imaginative historical recollection (including the infamous "creation of the universe" and "dinosaur" sequences) make this a film to be appreciated intellectually by some and emotionally by others. (I fall into the former category.) The way the film tells the story and how it is framed with a larger story told from the future, the film almost seems to take place during the span of an elevator ride (almost like the supposedly un-filmable novel "The Mezzanine").

There is no real trick to this movie, no hidden message. It is what it is and it makes its message clear. It's message is presented strongly in the way strong messages are presented in most films - through repetition. That message is simple: Love. Life is short. We all live, we all die. Enjoy what you can while being a good person. Things will work out best that way. Despite its length and floating free-form narrative, who can argue with the film's message?

Deserving of its win at Cannes and Oscar Best Picture nomination, "The Tree of Life" is a film that will reveal different things to you in different phases of life. Enjoy it while you can.
12 years 5 months ago
contrafugal's avatar

contrafugal

Well, at least someone is trying.
10 years 6 months ago
V012's avatar

V012

The film that divides people into two firm sections, The Tree of Life is artistic and inspiring, and even if you dislike it, you have to admit, it was mesmerizing visually and the narrative was more than unique. However for me, it changed my perspective and a film is supposed to strive to do that. Its just that I don't know what it changed my perspective on.
11 years 2 months ago
oddrid's avatar

oddrid

If it had been me in that edit room, I would have cut it down to 15 minutes and turned it into a screensaver.
12 years 7 months ago
dombrewer's avatar

dombrewer

Just wonderful - with minor reservations - but Malick is a phenomenal director. He manages to make the epic seem personal and universal specific. The evocation of childhood and memory was beautiful and all the performances, particularly the children, were exceptional. Even though the narrative was non-existent I was still incredibly moved at the end. A great, challenging work of art, no question.
13 years ago
dondyarizona's avatar

dondyarizona

Boring? Ugh I've watched and loved 7 hours, black and white, nothing happened, Hungarian's Satantango. This beauty didn't come close as something that bores me.
11 years 7 months ago
bitchypixels's avatar

bitchypixels

I felt the first half of this to be extremely pretentious, but warmed up to it towards the end. This was a very beautiful film though.
12 years 7 months ago
GodPepper's avatar

GodPepper

The same way this film doesn't need words to tell a gorgeous story, I don't need (nor have) words to describe it.

It is just an special film, a story as slow as life and as sentimental as the world.
12 years 9 months ago
Edu ohm's avatar

Edu ohm

Very similar to Tarkovsky`s Zerkalo.
12 years 9 months ago
ReVision's avatar

ReVision

I'm going to need some time digesting this film. All kinds of thoughts are running through my head right now.
8 years 11 months ago
fonz's avatar

fonz

On a day I sliced a part of my finger off, this made me feel much better. Yes, we as humans have problems, but in the end it's just water under the bridge. And that our human problems pale in comparison with the grand beauty of the universe.
9 years 1 month ago

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