[tps_title]6. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)[/tps_title]
Malick’s breathtaking opus, I understand, is not strictly about growing up. In fact, it is not strictly about anything in particular, yet it encompasses, ecstatically, rapturously, everything. It is equally as compelled by the celestial mysteries of the cosmos as it is by a child pattering awkwardly across the dining room; as inquisitive about notions of memory, consciousness, love, nurture, and death as it is about what it feels like to frolic in the grass with your brothers, or catch the hazy afternoon light on your skin, or read a bedtime story by flashlight. Malick locates the sublime minutiae of life within a sprawling canvas of eternity, in which the act of growing up is partially to acquire the weight of awesome yet terrifying knowledge. Watching The Tree of Life, indeed, is like experiencing it all over again, for the first time.
See also: Fanny and Alexander (1983), The Long Day Closes (1992)