TREE OF LIFE
A CONTEMPLATION ON LIFE AND UNIVERSE
With the curtains drawn at Cannes Film Festival, its highest prize the Palme d’Or has been awarded to The Tree of Life directed by Terrence Malick this year. Graduated from philosophy at Harvard, Malick went on to further studies at Oxford. A difference in perspective caused the future film director to leave without a doctorate. Completing a MFA course at AFI Conservatory, Malick embarked on a legendary career in film. After winning Best Director at Cannes Film Festival in 1978 for Days of Heaven, he moved to France for a quiet life. Twenty years later, Malick directed the anti-war film The Thin Red Line, which won the Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival in 1999 and was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
The Tree of Life is a story about a family in the U.S. in the Fifties. The mother (played by Jessica Chastain) is graceful and forgiving, whereas the father (played by Brad Pitt) forces Jack to face the cruel world. The family eventually is separated by death; Jack still could not make sense of certain inner contradiction as an adult. Through poetic visual effect and philosophical screenplay, the director contemplates on the existence of all lives and its value, leading to Jack’s enlightenment.
The original score created by French composer Alexandre Desplat is also a highlight. He is also responsible for the original score for Lust, Caution, Memoir of a Geisha, The Queen, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Coco Avant Chanel and most recently The King’s Speech. His classical music ability enhances the otherworldly visual of the film.