THE TREE OF LIFE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

10.15PM, SBS2

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.

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