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SPOTLIGHT FILMS: Tree of Life

Contributor
By Contributor
September 22nd, 2011

The tale of The Tree of Life, set in 1950’s Texas, is told from the perspective of Jack O’Brien the eldest of three boys. As an adult, Jack and his parents have just been told of the death of one of the other boys. This sends Jack into a reminiscence of his life as he faces his grief. The story follows him from innocence to disillusioned adult struggling with a complicated relationship with his parents. The adult Jack finds himself seeking meaning in a world from which he feels disconnected – a lost soul. He struggles with the origins of life and the existence of faith. The Tree of Life, showing on Tuesday Sept 27, is directed and written by Terence Malick (Badlands, the memorable Thin Red Line) this film stars Brad Pitt as the senior Mr. O’Brien and Sean Penn as his middle-aged son Jack O’Brien.   Also starring in this sweet 139 minute flick, are Jessica Chastain (Howard) as Mrs. O’Brien (The Help, The Debt) and Hunter McCracken as the young Jack. Though artfully indirect with its point, all one needs to know about this film is in its opening quotes and narration so listen carefully.   The Tree of Life won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival. This is the highest honour at the festival, the prize granted to the director of the best feature film.   Roger Ebert, of the SunTimesgave the movie four stars in his review: “Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life is a film of vast ambition and deep humility, attempting no less than to encompass all of existence and view it through the prism of a few infinitesimal lives. The only other film I’ve seen with this boldness of vision is Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and it lacked Malick’s fierce evocation of human feeling….”  

The Tree of Life, presented by Spotlight Film Club, will be shown at the Gem Theatre in Grand Forks at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27.