Fuck “Thor,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and whatever other geek movie trailer countdown that happened this month. This is the trailer we’ve been dying to see ever since it started unspooling in front of “Black Swan,” and for us, if the movie news year ended right here that would be fine with us.
How can we even adequately described how stoked we are for this? The spot doesn’t reveal much and really, this one has a plot that isn’t exactly easy to pin down. The long-gestating picture is a drama that ferries between a father in the 1950s (Brad Pitt) and his son Jack (Sean Penn), now grown up decades later and dealing with residue from his childhood. And as was first revealed earlier this year, Pitt’s character is a mean S.O.B. Intertwined in all of this is a larger thematic arc about nature, grace and mysteries of the universe. We’re still picking up our goddamned jaws off the floor so excuse us if we’ll just let you experience the trailer for yourself.
From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.