You’ve probably noticed that I usually put an image at the top of my reviews. I try to pick a standout image that captures the feel of the film. You’ve probably also noticed there is no such image at the top of this review.
That’s because there is no single image that can explain The Tree of Life.
In fact, I’m not sure there are words that can explain it, either. I have no idea how to review this film. It’s a film about how we find happiness. It’s also a film about how happiness escapes us, constantly. It’s a film about the fragmentation of a family. It’s also a film about how that family comes together. It’s a film about varying ways through life. It’s also a film about death.
The Tree of Life is a film. It’s unabashedly pretentious, at times incoherent, often inexplicable, and highly melodramatic. It’s also one of the most beautiful films in history, effortlessly moving, and completely, wholly honest. It defies explanation, categorization, and even to an extent reaction.
The Tree of Life is a film that cannot be described, but must be experienced. It’s an experience like no other I’ve had at the cinema, and one I will be thrilled to have again, many times in the future.
* * * *
(For a better impression of the film, I highly recommend Roger Ebert’s review – he puts words to things I cannot and gives a much better review of the film.)