Chad Newsome, Penelope and I went to go see Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life on Saturday and we all had a different reaction to it. Chad liked it. Penelope didn't. We all agreed it was extremely indulgent and beautifully shot. They agreed to a lesser extent with my newly discovered belief that Jessica Chastain may be the most beautiful woman currently working in film today.
I admired the film with reservations- at times 2001's Star Child seemed poised to appear onscreen at any moment, at others it felt like I was watching a kinder, gentler version of Enter the Void. I spent a good deal of the film trying to make up my mind which of the three kids Sean Penn is supposed to be and wondering why the third child often disappeared from the story. It's a narrative disaster and a masterpiece of cinematography. It's a beautiful case of what makes cinema a distinct, unique medium for story-telling that most directors would never envision, much less attempt. That's reason enough to see it, though the poor sound and smallish screen at Landmark's Embarcadero Theater makes it a poor showcase for such carefully crafted work. It should be shown in a better-equipped house.
There's more to say (especially about the beautiful home Brad Pitt and Chastain live in at the beginning of the film) but I'm meeting Brian for breakfast before Gotterdammerung unfolds this afternoon at the opera house, so it will have to wait, along with so many other things.