Actors need to be very careful about what they say about their projects. Even if they’re giving an interview to a foreign paper with answers that won’t be translated into English, that’s no protection against having their words come back to bite them. In Sean Penn’s case, he not only doesn’t understand the ending to The Tree of Life, he doesn’t even really like the way the story was told. As reported by The Guardian, Penn told the French newspaper Le Figaro, “A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact.” Penn continued to say, “Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context! What’s more, [Terrence Malick] himself never managed to explain it to me clearly.”
While plenty of critics and audience members might agree that The Tree of Life is one of the more baffling movies the last decade, Penn’s inability to figure out what he’s doing in the film is a little worrying. After all, Penn literally plays the main character. Granted, he only shows up in the movie for about ten minutes, but he’s playing a grown-up version of the kid we’ve been following throughout the entire film. So yeah, it seems that Penn of all people should’ve probably tried a little harder to figure out what was happening with that ending.
BY ZIAH GRACE/JAN. 29, 2020 4:13 EST