Are you sick of hearing about Terrence Malick's long-gestating "Tree Of Life" in that you just want to stop reading about it and you just want to see the damn thing already?
Join the crowd. But every time we swear up and down that we're not going to write about the picture anymore, something pops up that piques our interest once more. But we'll keep it brief. An early screening of the film recently took place... somewhere, we assume Austin since that's where Malick lays his hat and one of the people in attendance has posted on the HomeTheater web forum. Don't worry there's not too many spoilers if you're a die-hard and have been reading every little thing about this film, however, if you're not one of those people, buyer beware. The key take aways: the "creation" section of the film (remember it's partly about the creation of the universe and briefly features dinosaurs) reminds this viewer of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey" (the thought of this gives us a huge cinema boner), it's 3 hours long (at least in this version, though that could change) and this guy thinks the film will come out in October. We're guessing last minute December ala, "The New World" which was released down to the wire so it would at least qualify for Oscar (and of course, Malick kept tooling with it afterwards and shaved down the running time for the wide January theatrical release). Will Brad Pitt garner an Oscar for his work in the film? Read more below.
Saw TREE OF LIFE the other night at work and it really is amazing. Hypnotic, more like. I won't give anything about it away here, but yes it is long and there has already been talk in the news about Malick releasing it, then re-cutting it, then re-releasing it, etc.The film also stars Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Joanna Going and Fiona Shaw. Malick is evidently gearing up for his next picture which is either shooting now in secret or is in full-on pre-production, so that definitely is a good sign that 'TOL' is complete. Update: Telluride's Twitter Feed says Brad Pitt is in town. We've been hearing rumors of late that the film could play the 3-day Colorado-based festival, but kind of dismissed them. Could it happen? God, we'll be envious if that's the case. 'TOL'/Apparition producer Bill Pohlad is there too.
The main bulk of the film is about his childhood growing up in Texas (reels 3-7 out of 9!). The "creation" footage is outstanding, absolutely jawdropping, and does indeed feel like 2001 - a lot of the effects are practical and your eyes can see that, which makes it really fascinating to watch. I don't have a problem with the creation footage being connected to his boyhood, after all, most boys love dinosaurs, so that's how I looked at it.
The story is framed around the death of his middle brother (in Korea?? We never know) and is a reflection on the circle of life, the evolution of life out of the mess of the Big Bang, but also about life itself (the strained relationship with his severe father, a stunning performance by Brad Pitt, just stunning), and the end of the Universe. I still haven't given anything away that hasn't already been said in the press. The film just has to be seen to be believed! One feels like a child again, seeing the world through young wide eyes.
Yes, it is finished! I believe it releases in October but it may be a limited release. And yes again it's about 3 hours! There is talk of a cut down version, which Malick did for New World as well, but nothing confirmed.