Jul 3, 2011
WTF With The Tree of Life
The movie is a bit oblique, for sure, but I don't understand people who demand their money back or find it so impossible to digest that Salon magazine has to print a guide to it. You don't have to like it, you may find it pretentious, but try for a second to experience a movie that, contrary to what you are used to, does not masticate everything for you in a formula that you already know by heart so that you don't have to actually use your brain for two hours.
The Tree of Life is not pretentious in an intellectual way. It does not demand a whole lot of brain activity. Sure, it does not feel like it has a three act structure, and there is very little dialogue, and there are no robots destroying mankind, or women desperately looking for males, or heroes conquering something or other. It is a personal meditation on faith and nature. It requires that you surrender to its images, to the feelings it evokes and let the flood of visuals and moods wash over you. I think it is meant more as an emotional and aesthetic experience than an intellectual one. It is not pretentious like say Godard's films are intellectually pretentious. If there are any references in it, biblical, literary or otherwise, you don't lose the power of the experience if you don't know them. It's not the kind of movie who makes you feel like a fool by being erudite and pedantic or by name dropping cultural references. If you approach it with an open mind, and more, an open heart, you may get a lot of beauty out of it.
So stop the whining. Be truly adventurous and experience a different kind of film.
It's not gonna kill you.