Film Essays and Reflections of The Tree of Life (2011)

Read Roger Ebert’s and Kent Jones’ film essays on Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011). Also take a look at Shining Glory and several of the top reviews and reflections of this timeless film.

Four decades into an already legendary career, Terrence Malick realized his most rapturous vision to date, tracing a story of childhood, wonder, and grief to the outer limits of time and space. Reaching back to the dawn of creation, Malick sets a story of boyhood memories on a universal scale, charting the coming of age of an awestruck child (newcomer Hunter McCracken) in Texas in the 1950s, as he learns to navigate the extremes of nature and grace represented by his bitter, often tyrannical father (Brad Pitt) and his ethereal, nurturing mother (Jessica Chastain, in her breakout role). Achieved with the aid of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and production designer Jack Fisk, the Palme d’Or–winning The Tree of Life marks the intimately personal, cosmically ambitious culmination of Malick’s singular approach to filmmaking. – The Criterion Collection

Books and Essays

Film Essays

The Tree of Life: Let the Wind Speak by Kent Jones (September 13, 2018)

Prayer Beneath The Tree of Life by Roger Ebert (May 17, 2011)

Online Articles and Reviews

Disclosure, Dasein, and the Divine in Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’ – POP MATTERS (January 14, 2019)

How the New Version of The Tree of Life Changed My Mind About Director’s Cuts – TALK HOUSE (November 14, 2018)

Why ‘The Tree of Life’ Is the Best Christian Film Ever Made – THE GOSPEL COALITION (October 23, 2018)

‘The Tree of Life’ Extended Edition: Terrence Malick’s Magnum Opus Gets a Gratifying Expansion – THE FILM STAGE (September 16, 2018)

Will Terrence Malick Ever Really Finish The Tree of Life – VULTURE (September 11, 2018)

‘The Tree of Life’: Two Versions of Terrence Malick’s Masterpiece, Side by Side, and What Makes Them Different – INDIE WIRE (September 11, 2018)

Criterion’s “The Tree of Life Is Not a Director’s Cut, but a New Movie From Terrence Malick – INDIE WIRE (August 31, 2018)

Heaven, Texas and the Cosmic Whodunit – NEW YORK TIMES (May 26, 2011)

Malick’s Film Adds a Dose of Sincerity to the Festivities – NEW YORK TIMES (May 16, 2011)

Two Ways Through Life – The Tree of Life Film Enthusiast Blog

Welcome to my blog – dedicated to one of the greatest achievements in film – The Tree of Life.

Director Terrence Malick premiered the film at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 where it was awarded the Palme d’Or, the highest prize given at the festival and considered by many to be the most prestigious honor in film. 

From the moment that I first witnessed this film, I was drawn to it like no other film that I had ever seen before. Memories of my childhood stirred while I also found new perspective and understanding in life. Not only did I reflect on my younger years, but as a father I have sought to better understand Mr. O’Brien’s internal struggles and how he indeed was a man with many layers. 

The Tree of Life is a reminder of the importance of noticing the glory around us. I hope that this blog will allow you to dive deeper into what  The Tree of Life means to you.