More Amazing 'Tree of Life' Buzz from Guardian's David Thomson

April 22, 2011
Source: The Guardian

The Tree of Life

"What can one say about The Tree of Life? Just that for nearly 40 years it has been apparent that Malick might make a movie that could alter our understanding of what cinema should be. This may be it." I just had to open with that quote from The Guardian's David Thomson as that pretty much sums up my excitement for this film and why I'm trying to contain my anxiety waiting for Cannes to hit (can't wait!!). Yes, this is pretty much pure hype, but it's a great way to kick off Easter weekend - thinking about how in over a month we'll all be able to experience the new Terrence Malick (hopefully) masterpiece in theaters.

I caught this piece from David Thomson, which was actually just published yesterday, courtesy of Daring Fireball & Coudal. I'm not sure what prompted Thomson to write about The Tree of Life and Malick like this and I'm not sure if he's even seen it yet, though I feel like he's hinting between the lines here that it might be a possibility. I don't know, but it's a great read anyway, especially for anyone who is a die-hard Malick fan and/or are impatiently awaiting Tree of Life. Here's another great excerpt talking about the magic of Malick:

"But it's magic, too, because in this age of diminution and vulgarity at the movies, Malick conducts himself with the austerity of Chaplin and Kubrick – doing it his way, disdaining the press, but getting people to pay for it all. Never forget that a movie director is not just a master of imagery and drama, a conductor of actors, music and design. He is a guy who can persuade someone to put up millions on an airy conversation about life, plants, astronomy and philosophy. This is more than magic. It is the nerve that makes us believe in magic when we know it doesn't exist." Read the full article

Interesting thoughts. Reading around, there's even been a bit of retaliation to Thomson's quote, as is always expected. I just can't wait to see what Malick has come up with and what the hell this thing is even all about. With more interesting quotes like this next coming from an early screening, well, it's very hard not to be uncontrollably excited for this. Both via The Film Stage: "The film is as unlike as 2001 as it can be, but its craft and emotional ambiguity are as singular as 2001." "Pitt is gonna win an Oscar but this is too out there for Best Picture. I can't say anything else…" So vague, but that's what makes the anticipation magical, which is exactly what Thomson is talking about. Try and contain you're excitement, there's still a month left.

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I'm trying so hard to control my expectations for this one. Nowadays in our hype-driven movie culture our evaluation of a movie after we first see it is mostly drive by our expectations, like "this was better than I thought" or "this was disappointing because I thought it could be better." So having expectations that a movie will be the best of the year is not very healthy, even though that's exactly how I feel about The Tree of Life deep down. Last year two of my most anticipated films were The Social Network and Black Swan, and they both actually met my expectations and ended up being two of my top 5 films last year, BUT I didn't get that from the first viewing. I really only let go of expectations the second time I saw those movies. So if you want to have a pristine and enjoyable first time movie experience, as hard as it is, you have to try to let go of those pesky expectations as best as you can. In the case of The Tree of Life, God knows I'm trying.

samir on Apr 23, 2011


My favorite Malick films: 1. The Thin Red Line 2. Days of Heaven 3. The New World 4. Badlands anyone else?

samir on Apr 23, 2011


Absolutely agree!

Anonymous on Apr 23, 2011


I'd flip Thin Red Line and Days of Heaven.

Maribeldeschain on Apr 24, 2011


I bet its rubbish

TheMasterpiece on Apr 23, 2011


I believe Malick doesn't get all the credits he deserves, he's one of the best directors, not only from an aesthetic point, but his storytelling is just breathtaking, I don't think he'll be recognized like Kubrick, but he's almost at the same level, I only hope for this movie to be really good, not to "alter our understanding of what cinema should be", because I don't think he's the guy to direct "the movie" that will change our perception of what movies, although it may have already been done. PS. I bet it'll be another awesome soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat.

Andy on Apr 23, 2011


Is this the 2nd coming of J.C. himself? People sure are acting like

Anonymous on Apr 24, 2011


Well at least this movie doesn't have any unrealistic expectations to live up to.

Jackson on Apr 25, 2011


The trailer is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a while, but The New World was honestly one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Tough call.

mrtibbs on Apr 25, 2011


I for one can't stand Malick's movies as much as I can't stand Paul Thomas Anderson's. I don't know what it is about them. Perhaps the meandering, roundabout plots.

alfredo on Apr 26, 2011


hope its good

A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018

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