Movie: Tree of Life

Did anyone else see the movie, the Tree of Life" with Brad Pitt? I don’t think it was released in most theaters. I believe it was the most spiritually moving movie I have ever seen. The entire movie is full of imagery and symbolism centering on God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and how God has been with us from the beginning of time, and is with us in every moment of our lives. This movie was particularly healing for the woman I went with who’s daughter unexpectedly died at the age of 21.She quit gong to church after her daughter died, and immediately after the movie she wanted me to drive her to a Catholic church. This is one of those movies that you think about for days afterwards. After reading some reviews I was quite shocked to see one that was on the US Catholic Bishops page that did not recommend Catholics seeing it and referred to it as “New Age”. Huh? Either they didn’t see the movie in it’s entirety, are not good at interpreting imagery, or I don’t know what.

Did anyone else see it? What did you think? ( against the film) ( for the film and disagrees with the Catholic News review.)


1.) For those who don’t know, and it’s clearly noted in the “byline,” which is a “guest reviewer,” the actual bishops don’t review the movies. They (the “film office”) are actually very under-staffed, and so it surprises me the movie’s even reviewed when they’re more likely to be reviewing higher-profile movies like “The Smurfs” or “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.”

2.) The Bishops Conference grade is, point in fact, “A-II” (Adults and Adolescents). That means, for however “New Age” this “guest reviewer” thought it was, somebody over there felt it was still suitable for “Adults and Adolescents.” Otherwise, it would been given an “A-IV” (Adults, With Reservations) or “O” (Morally Offensive.) Consequently, the reasonable conclusion to a rating of “A-II” is that is in fact suitable for adults and adolescents and not very “new age” at all.

3.) I don’t think I’m the only one who hears the phrase “Tree of Life” and immediately thinks of the Jewish Kaballah (no, not the Madonna-ized Kaballah.) It is entirely possible that the “guest review” had similar preconceived notions that the film is based on Judaic, not Christian, concepts. I have more commonly heard the phrase “tree of life” in Jewish contexts.

4.) Terrence Malick’s films have always polarized critics. So, it is also entirely possible that the “guest reviewer” took a deliberately contrary view knowing it may be ‘trendy’ to do so. I’m guessing the “guest reviewer” never saw “Badlands” with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek - i.e., Malick’s signature film - and simply isn’t familiar with the director’s motifs. Not his fault. Doesn’t make for a bad “guest review.” He just doesn’t know.

5.) Given the Oscar’s bump-up to 10 (ten) Best Picture nominees, it’s already a foregone conclusion that “Tree of Life” will be one of the nominees. Guaranteed shoo-in.

Hope that answers your question. :slight_smile:

No I haven’t seen the movie but it’s interesting timing I just joined the forums and chose this name “TreeOfLife”.

Then you must see it!

I saw it. It was decent. Not as profound as The Thin Red Line, though.

Actually, I think of this Christmas song (which is now stuck in my head, and I’m okay with that) :

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