Sunday, August 7, 2011

11. The Tree of Life (2011) 8/10


-The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow. Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things. The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.

Quality - 4/5
Enjoyability - 4/5

To help me catch up a notch, I'm including this one that I caught a couple of weeks ago in Cary. I am not a huge Terrance Malick fan, but I know the dude can make a pretty movie (and for some reason is a huge fan of shots of the wind blowing long blades of grass). I was intrigued about the buzz surrounding this movie from Cannes to US theaters issuing warnings to moviegoers about the films "slow" content, so I figured I would check it out. It was a pretty doggone good idea. Like those theaters though, I will also issue a warning: This movie has absolutely no traditional storyline either linear or otherwise. It is pretty much snippets of a "normal" 1950s family's life interspersed with classical music montages over Hubble telescope imagery, CG shots of the beginnings of life on Earth, and fantasy sequences with the central character as an adult in present day. At first, I was touched by the film's beauty, but then as the film marinated in my mind, I realized it was much more than a pretty picture. While the movie is very abstract, its themes are very simple (and best summed up by the quote above). Looking back, every (seemingly insignificant) scene tied into that struggle between nature and grace. I was touched by the film's message of love, and it is probably the single most spiritually satisfying movie I have ever seen.

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