Pohlad recalls initially thinking the idea was "crazy," but as the film concept evolved, he came to feel strongly about the idea;  he ended up financing the film. The Tree of Life was announced in late , with Indian production company Percept Picture Company set to finance it and Donald Rosenfeld on board as executive producer. The film was set to be shot partially in India, with pre-production scheduled to begin in January Heath Ledger was set to play the role of Mr.
O'Brien, but dropped out due to recurring sicknesses a month before his death in early In an October interview Jack Fisk , a longtime Malick collaborator, suggested that the director was attempting something radical. Principal photography began in Texas in The namesake of the film is a large live oak tree that was excavated from a property eight miles outside Smithville.
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After nearly thirty years away from Hollywood, famed special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull contributed to the visual effects work on The Tree of Life. Malick, a friend of Trumbull, approached him about the effects work and mentioned that he did not like the look of computer-generated imagery. Trumbull asked Malick, "Why not do it the old way? The way we did it in ? Working with visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, Trumbull used a variety of materials for the creation of the universe sequence.
Terry didn't have any preconceived ideas of what something should look like. We did things like pour milk through a funnel into a narrow trough and shoot it with a high-speed camera and folded lens, lighting it carefully and using a frame rate that would give the right kind of flow characteristics to look cosmic, galactic, huge and epic.
Fluid-based effects were developed by Peter and Chris Parks, who had previously worked on similar effects for The Fountain. In March , Empire magazine's website quoted visual effects supervisor Mike Fink as saying that a version of the film will be released for IMAX cinemas along with two versions for traditional cinemas. A tentative plan was made to release it in late , in time for awards consideration. This would make the UK the first region in the world to see the film,  preempting the expected Cannes Film Festival premiere on May This would disqualify the film from inclusion at Cannes.
During the Cannes Film Festival in , Peter Becker, president of the home media company The Criterion Collection , and Fox Searchlight discussed a potential Criterion home video release that would include a longer alternate version of The Tree of Life which Malick would like to create. In an unprecedented move, Criterion decided to finance the alternate version for its eventual inclusion on both Blu-ray and DVD.
In creating the alternate version, the original negatives' palettes were located for Malick to use, the entire film scanned in 4K resolution , cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki brought in to help grade the footage, and a full sound mix created for the additional material, with Malick even dedicating "the better part of a year" to this project. Becker stated that the company has "never undertaken anything this extensive or this challenging, or anything that has taken this long to achieve or required so much effort on the part of pretty much every post-production craft.
Malick was careful to note that the extended cut of the film is an alternative version, not the definitive one. In an interview with Indiewire , Criterion technical director Lee Kline said:. Unlike with [ The New World ], [the version of The Tree of Life ] that premiered in at Cannes [was] definitely the definitive version of the film he wanted to make. This is another version. The extended version runs to minutes; in addition to entirely new footage with new characters and scenes, it also extends existing scenes and features minor changes to the film's score, musical arrangements, and color grading.
Both editions also include the film's trailer, the making-of documentary Exploring "The Tree of Life" , a interview with composer Alexandre Desplat, new interviews with actress Jessica Chastain, visual-effects supervisor Dan Glass, and music critic Alex Ross, and a video essay by Matt Zoller Seitz , as well as a booklet containing essays by film critics Kent Jones and Roger Ebert. The cover used for both editions is designed by Neil Kellerhouse. Early reviews for The Tree of Life were polarized. After being met with both boos  and applause  at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival ,  the film received mixed early reviews.
Two of its producers, Bill Pohlad and Sarah Green, accepted the prize on behalf of the reclusive Malick. The Tree of Life has since garnered critical acclaim. The site's critics consensus reads "Terrence Malick's singularly deliberate style may prove unrewarding for some, but for patient viewers, Tree of Life is an emotional as well as visual treat. Roger Ebert gave the film four stars of four and wrote:. The Tree of Life is a film of vast ambition and deep humility, attempting no less than to encompass all of existence and view it through the prism of a few infinitesimal lives.
The only other film I've seen with this boldness of vision is Kubrick 's A Space Odyssey and it lacked Malick's fierce evocation of human feeling. There were once several directors who yearned to make no less than a masterpiece, but now there are only a few. Malick has stayed true to that hope ever since his first feature in Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded it five stars and lauded it as an "unashamedly epic reflection on love and loss" and a "mad and magnificent film.
Scott of The New York Times gave the film much praise and stated, "The sheer beauty of this film is almost overwhelming, but as with other works of religiously minded art, its aesthetic glories are tethered to a humble and exalted purpose, which is to shine the light of the sacred on secular reality". Total Film gave the film a five-star review denoting 'outstanding' : "The Tree of Life is beautiful.
The trickster microbes that are shaking up the tree of life
Ridiculously, rapturously beautiful. You could press 'pause' at any second and hang the frame on your wall. Some religious reviewers welcomed the spiritual themes of the film. Robert Barron , reviewing The Tree of Life for a Chicago Tribune blog, noted that "in the play of good and evil, in the tension between nature and grace, God is up to something beautiful, though we are unable to grasp it totally That quotation holds the key to the film and in some sense, the key to our attitude toward life.
Not all reviews were positive. Sukhdev Sandhu, chief film critic of The Daily Telegraph describes the movie as "self-absorbed," and "achingly slow, almost buckling under the weight of its swoony poetry. Sean Penn has said, "The screenplay is the most magnificent one that I've ever read but I couldn't find that same emotion on screen.
A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. It's up to each person to find their own personal, emotional or spiritual connection to it. Those that do generally emerge very moved. The film appeared on over 70 critics' year-end top ten lists, including 15 first-place rankings.
The film also received five votes in the directors' poll placing it at In , Bradshaw named the film one of the top 50 films of the decade so far by The Guardian. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Theatrical release poster. Brad Pitt as Mr.
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O'Brien Jessica Chastain as Mrs. O'Brien John Howell as R. Brown Kimberly Whalen as Mrs. Stone Dustin Allen as George Walsh.
Tree That Owns Itself
Main article: List of accolades received by The Tree of Life film. British Board of Film Classification. June 10, Archived from the original on July 7, Retrieved June 1, Box Office Mojo. October 27, Retrieved January 26, The Numbers. Retrieved March 15, Retrieved June 17, Retrieved June 3, Retrieved December 1, July 20, Retrieved February 17, August 23, Retrieved March 20, Animation World Network. Retrieved November 16, Retrieved October 26, Los Angeles Times.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it had yet to determine which producers would be eligible for the best picture prize Pohlad, who financed the film, had been developing it with Malick for about a decade, while Green is Malick's longtime producer and close confidant. The third slot could go to one of three people — Grant Hill, a producer who was involved with it early on; Brad Pitt, who came on to produce and then star; or Dede Gardner, Pitt's producing partner. October 13, The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 3, Retrieved March 29, Times of India.
October 29, The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, With Dinosaurs? Retrieved April 19, April 22, Retrieved January 12, Including, Turns Out, in Downtown". February 16, February 17, Vanity Fair. The New Yorker. Retrieved October 11, Retrieved May 28, Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 10, Screen Daily. May 22, Archived from the original on June 16, Archived from the original on October 18, Archived from the original on June 27, The Playlist. Fox Searchlight Pictures.
September 9, Archived from the original on September 11, Retrieved September 9, Archived from the original on October 25, Retrieved October 22, Finalists of the European Tree of the Year The tree's story. The Abramtsevo Oak.
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- Capturing Callie [Club Isola 1] (Siren Publishing Menage and More);
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