Do you go the way of nature or of grace?
The tree of life premiered in the competition of Cannes Film Festival 2011, where it was awarded Palme d’Or. Everyone raved about the new Terrence Malick movie, which contrasted human history with human life.
This experimental drama starred famous faces like Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain doing very unknown things. They talked softly, spoke almost in puzzles, and had to share screen time with planets and dinosaurs.
The film was driven by a powerful voice-over that asks us a question: should we follow the path of nature or the path of grace?
The tree of life First place in the rating aggregator Metacritical‘s “Top Ten List of 2011” and made more critic year-end lists in 2011 than any other film.
But what does The tree of life look and feel like 10 years later?
Nature and grace
We reworked this film for our best films of the decade and we weren’t alone. Hundreds of other releases have named it the best movie in the last 10 years and it is certainly one of the most talked about. At the time, people were walking in droves – and they were leaving, angry at the non-narrative format and lack of a Hollywood story. It was an experimental breakthrough.
It’s a movie that you think about forever.
Roger Ebert gave the film four stars out of four and wrote:
“The tree of life is a film of great ambition and deep humility, which tries nothing less than to grasp the whole of existence and to see it through the prism of a few tiny lives. The only other film I’ve seen with this audacity of vision is that of Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey and Malick’s violent evocation of human emotion was lacking. There were once several directors who longed to make nothing less than a masterpiece, today there are only a few. Malick has remained true to this hope since his first feature film in 1973. ”
The film begins with a quote from the Book of Job 38: 4-7: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? … When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God exulted with joy?”
This film is about the struggle with God (grace) and the natural cycle of life and death. It not only questions our position and effect, but also the value of a soul to the people who interact with it.
The following story is about a man who remembers his family while also reflecting on the creation and evolution of the world. We follow this journey through life and ultimately through death. We see the people he left behind and see a world full of hope because he lived his life by grace.
There are many conflicting readings about the movie, but few about how nice it is to just watch it. Andres Desplat’s score is captivating. camera operator Emmanuel Lubezki returned to work with Malick after working with him The new world. You shot this film at 1.85: 1 and often only used natural light. Aside from the famous faces, most of the performers were non-actors.
All this realism should enforce the theme of nature versus grace and show the human struggle of existence.
But are we blind to just accepting that it pays to be a good person? Does that contradict our nature?
The burden is on the audience
One of the best quotes about the movie comes from star Sean Penn, who said, “The script is the greatest script I’ve ever read, but I couldn’t find that feeling on screen. … A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, diminishing its beauty and impact. “
He clarified, “But it’s a movie I recommend as long as you go into it without any preconceptions. It is up to each person to find their own personal, emotional, or spiritual connection to it.
While every film is subjective and a matter for the audience, The tree of life is one of the few I know who asks you to examine your own life and the people who lived next to you and the people who died next to you. They do that along with what the main character in the film is doing. It’s Malick’s personal journey, but it’s also one where he provides us with the map to embark on our own quest for the question of nature and grace.
I find this both wondrous and puzzling. I can’t say anyone else should get any of this The tree of lifebut I can definitely say that 10 years later I still do. In the last ten years I have to see who is still in my life. Not just friends, but family. Those who raised me and those who don’t see me grow. In a year in which we lost nearly 600,000 people to a fatal disease in the US alone, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the world keeps turning. Because many of our works are not shaped by the natural agenda, but by the graceful people who make every day worth living.
The tree of life offers the hope of seeing her again. That longing hasn’t diminished or gotten cynical since the last time I saw it. And I hope it never does.
In this jump from 24 to 34, I not only have to see what I’ve learned, but also how I’ve suffered. Was that due to nature, do I still live gracefully?
These are private considerations. But when you watch the movie every now and then, I wonder what your answers might be. Have you seen the movie recently? If you feel like it, think about it in the comments.
Let us know what you think The tree of life now versus then. I am looking forward to read your comments.