Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life is the most singular and startling film I have seen this year. There is and will be no competition I fear. There will be other films of course, different styles aiming for a different audience, striving for another effect on the viewer but this is one of those sacred film going experiences that are so seldom today. My heart lifted in exaltation. I felt humble or at least eager to inhale the air humility and grace that Malick captures in this film.
A second viewing enhanced my appreciation and yet I’m still trying to understand it, deconstruct it, analyze its essence which might seem redundant but this is a film that demands passionate, heated debate. It is a work of pure feeling with images and moments that float, ebb, evolve as if we are sailing on the currents present in the mind of the creator himself. Malick is questioning himself, life, death, love, anger, nature, wrestling with it all and somehow putting it up there on-screen whilst avoiding narrative conventions and yet it is intelligible, poetic, emotionally febrile.
For those who’ve seen Tree, what did you make of it? I’m inviting you in to offer your opinions and insights on this challenging, ambitious work of art. Let the arguments commence….