Hot & Cold

Reviews for 'Tree of Life' With Brad Pitt and Sean Penn After Cannes Premiere

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Riding a tidal wave of anticipation, Terrence Malick’s coming-of-age epic, The Tree of Life, finally made its premiere at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film, which Malick has reportedly been working on for close to four decades, tells the story of a father (Brad Pitt) and mother (Jessica Chastain) who struggle to raise young boys in 1950s Texas. One of them grows up to become a sad, disillusioned man, played by Sean Penn. The film, billed as a spiritual journey, reportedly incorporates the evolutionary spectrum, from the cosmos to dinosaurs and beyond. While The Tree of Life garnered some boos after the screening, the film nonetheless impressed critics. Variety called it “extraordinary,” but also an “inescapably divisive picture,” while The Guardian, in its five-star review, deemed it a “mad and magnificent film.” Movieline was less impressed, remarking how Malick’s film “is a gargantuan work of pretension and cleverly concealed self-absorption.”