The Tree of Life (2011) Review


The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental epic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and featuring a cast of Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Jessica Chastain, and Tye Sheridan in his debut feature film role.


The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the known universe and the inception of life on Earth.


After several years in development and missing its planned 2009 and 2010 release dates, The Tree of Life premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Palme d'Or. It ranked number one on review aggregator Metacritic's "Top Ten List of 2011", and made more critics' year-end lists for 2011 than any other film.


It appeared in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of the world's top 250 films as well as BBC's poll of the greatest American films, one of the few 21st-century works to be included in either. The film was also later named the seventh-greatest film since 2000 in a BBC poll of 177 critics.


In December 2019, The Tree of Life topped The Associated Press' list of the best films of the 2010s. The Tree of Life received three Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

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