Festival de Cannes 70: The Tree of Life, 2011

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

A movie that divides audiences is a movie worth debating. In Cannes in 2011 Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, an enigmatic motion picture experience, was received with some applause and some boos. Understandable, but an experience is what The Tree of Life is. A grand one. Perhaps not in the depths of how we try and figure out the universe itself, but you have to wonder how Malick conceives and then executes such a concept onto film. That wonder is part of the abstract appeal. In concrete terms, the cinematography itself is ridiculously majestic – you will struggle to find one movie that manages to fill every single frame with such captivating beauty. And that includes the whole origins of everything chapter that breaks the already diluted narrative, even detaches you. The selection and use of classical music is also something to be savoured. Jessica Chastain is as enchanting as any actress can be on screen here. And in that final extraordinary sequence I simply disappear. It may be dumbfounding or head-scratching at times, but it is quite the experience all the same. And the Cannes jury seemed to agree.

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5 responses to “Festival de Cannes 70: The Tree of Life, 2011

    • I didn’t hate it, but it was nowhere near my best ofs for 2011. It lost my respect long before I had finished. My wife dislikes it more than me. Some memorable moments, a fine score and use of classical music, Jessica Chastain, and of course that cinematography. As a film whole, nah. Lazy choice from De Niro and his jury too.

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  1. Sounds really nice, but I’m wary of Malick. I thought Knight of cups was the absolute worst movie I ever saw but I should give this a try 🙂 Beautiful review!

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