THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)

TMG Scale 4.5
Starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn (sort of)

The most over hyped and over rated show of the year. Now I understand why it was in such limited release for so long. No theatre really wanted to show it. For good reason. As a film teacher of sorts, TMG  gives it a B for effort but about a D- for execution—effectively about a 4.5 on the TMG scale. And by the way, if heaven is filled with warbly, high pitched  opera music all the time, I am putting my word in now for a deferment. I request a room at the Hilton Heaven of Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, thank you Lord very much.  And why on Earth the hour plus of National Geographic footage of the sun, volcanoes and oceans? Did Pitt forget that Hollywood has some editors in need of work? Five minutes of this stuff is enough..we get it..move on. The King of Angst, aka Sean Penn was well chosen but added zilch to this uber effort in depressing film making.

A film about faith and the life cycle. What is the meaning of everything? What is really important in life and death? I get it. This film might have been tolerable  at a religious retreat but not at a  main street movie theatre. All this filmed really lacked was narration by Werner Herzog to make me want to die on the spot. I saw some folks walk out and Joy Lynn reports she saw the same.

I could not figure out from the get go who died. Why not say so? I sat with my 87 year old mother during this film. She has lost two sons at relatively young ages. She leaned over and whispered “Do they ever get to a story here?” Mom was never one to bullshoot around with.

You will be more rewarded by meditating for two and a half hours at a funeral for someone you don’t even know rather than see this film.  The latter will cost you nothing and someone might appreciate the thought.

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