QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

Tree of Life

Tree of Life at IMDB

This a long, beautiful to look at movie with a strong religious current flowing through it. It attempts to represent on film all of creation, from the cosmos to the microscopic, from volcanos to childbirth, dinosaurs to modern steel and glass cities. It deals with love, death, faith, morals, and hypocrisy.

Even while admiring the beauty of some of the shots and sequences, I found it very hard to get engaged with the story and the characters. There a huge hurdle to get over in the first hour of this two hour and twenty minute film, as we take the tour of creation at a time when we don't know much about the characters or much about why we are seeing this all.

Once the tour is over, the story resumes. With little to no dialog, it does a great job of showing time pass from a couple without children, to the first pregnancy and birth, baby time, toddler years, the second child, and then reaching adolescence.

After a while I found it jarring that something is always moving, if not the subject in the film, then the camera is wandering. The cuts are fast and frequent, the motion never letting the movie have a true quiet moment. This is a story that needs some quiet. Perhaps the objective is to force us to recognize that life doesn't accomodate, but I'm sure that's the most effective way to get it across.

Three pairs of animals out of six pair on a toy ark.

Final thought: will still think Branch Davidians when thinking of "Waco, Texas"