Weekly Look at Movies Tree of Life

Happy Thursday, Notables! In this edition of our weekly look at movies, Notable sat down with Young Professional Andrea Miller, Producer at Cineplex.com, to find out the scoop on Terrence Malick`s latest film, The Tree of Life, which opened in Cineplex theatres nationwide on June 10th. Make sure to read on after the interview to find out how to enter to win this week’s movie contest!

This is Terrence Malick’s first film in six years. Why the wait?
The famously introverted, reclusive, and press-shy Malick is a celebrated filmmaker who is very particular about his vision and takes his time, to put it lightly. He’s only made five films in a career that dates back to 1973, so he’s basically the opposite of prolific, one-film-a-year Woody Allen. But with a film like The Tree of Life, it’s obvious why he wouldn’t rush since while it focuses on a family in small-town America in the 1950s, it also deals with the origin of the planet, including scenes with dinosaurs and great volcanic eruptions, and the pain of death.

Wait, did you say dinosaurs?
Yup. This movie not only stars Brad Pitt as the stern, authoritarian dad, ethereal breakout star Jessica Chastain as his graceful wife, and Sean Penn as the grown-up version of their son Jack, but dinosaurs make an appearance during the early, largely wordless portion of the film that explores compassion and evolution in a manner that recalls Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Very ambitious and lushly filmed, it requires patience from its audience.

It seems like a hard movie to describe in a quick synopsis, but what is The Tree of Life essentially about?
Despite its macro nature and time-spanning scope, at the heart of the movie is a narrative about a family and two ways of living: the way of grace represented by Mrs. O’Brien; and the way of nature, represented by Mr. O’Brien. Audiences are asked to identify with the eldest son Jack (an electric Hunter McCracken) who is constantly wrestling with how to love his father, when he mostly fears him, while figuring out what kind of man he ultimately wants to be. It’s an emotional story in which Pitt transforms into a stern father who has no control over his career and so rules with an iron fist at home. But even that definition doesn’t encapsulate the experience that this movie truly represents.

In the summer blockbuster season, it doesn’t seem like there are many movies offering audiences what The Tree of Life does. What can moviegoers expect?
As Jessica Chastain put it – whom we spoke to last week – it`s a movie that audiences have to participate in. It’s not an escapist ride where dazzling special effects take over the story. This is a movie that investigates uneasy truths and makes you think about your place in life, what kind of mark you’d like to leave and might, like Chastain told us happened to a friend of hers, cause you reevaluate your relationships and call someone who had long been forgotten. Essentially powerful and ambitious, it stays with you.

Want to win a pair of Cineplex Admit One Movie Tickets? Well, all you have to do is Like Notable.ca and Cineplex Movies on Facebook and reply in the thread on our wall, “I want to win two passes to Cineplex Theatres!” and you’ll be entered to win. How easy is that, right? These passes can be used to see The Tree of Life, or any other general admission film at Cineplex Theaters!