Movies, Real Life

Death and The Tree of Life

Due to my awareness of a certain Florida trial, the early part of this summer has carried a depressing overtone of death. With a nod toward synchronicity, I spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon considering another death, but this time it was a beautiful and thrilling experience.

I’m speaking of the Palme d’Or winner of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the Terrence Malick film, The Tree of Life. I sat spellbound through the 138 minutes running time. During a stop at the restroom on the way out, I started to cry. A visceral reaction.

I want to see it again. I saw the movie with my youngest son, who had already seen it once with his wife. She cried too. I told him I felt stunned in a dreamlike way. That reminded me of my reaction to another movie, The New World (2005). Same guy wrote and directed both, he told me, Terrence Malick.

This is not a film for everyone. No superheroes, vampires, wizards, car chases, road trips, buddies, bridesmaids, aliens, or pirates. It’s fluid in time and plot, often without dialogue. It’s music and poetry and art and science and religion. It’s gorgeous and haunting and thought-provoking. Expect an experience rather than entertainment.

If you’re curious, watch the trailer below or go to the Official Movie Site to learn more.