THE TREE OF LIFE
This ambitious attempt to explain the unexplainable nature of life is one of the most unique fi lms of the past decade. A single soundbite heard early on perhaps best connects viewers to the extraordinary experience ahead: “There are two ways through life: the way of nature, or the way of grace. You have to choose which one you will follow.” The physical embodiment of this thought is a typical American family of the 1950: a tough, no- nonsense father ( played by Brad Pitt), a free- spirited mother ( Jessica Chastain), and their three young sons. With one of the boys fated to die in his teens, the fi lm begins a cosmically scenic journey to a depiction of the afterlife as genuinely moving as any mind could ever conjure. People will either be totally bewitched or bewildered by what happens here. Like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, if you fall under its spell, a masterpiece appears before you.