There is hardly a blockbuster or art film made during the last ten years that does not deal at some point in its plot with the struggle of the post-modern human to find its place in this universe or to make sense of it. This is in terms of the content. In terms of technical development, the achievements in the film realm during the last decade or so far and wide reaching that there seems to be harder and harder to come up with something truly "new." As Brad Pitt, the actor playing the father figure was saying in an interview: in technical terms one could say that the film makers were actually looking for what is usually considered a mistake in the film industry in order to "perfect" it. The "perfection of mistakes" as Pitt calls it is not necessarily entirely new, since Woody Allen already successfully dealt with this type of approach in his numerous films, but it is an innovative way of introducing it into a narrative film. Thus, the viewer is many times tempted to wonder if there is a fictional film or a documentary presented on the screen. The fact that images related to the origins of the universe, the earth and life on earth are introduced into it, ads to the innovative form of approach. Dialogues are sparse, but the director is brilliant in "perfecting" the mistakes of the acting. Nothing seems too be left untouched, even the smallest detail: a small child who is clearly incapable of "acting" is surprised at the perfect moment: his gaze is saying exactly what the scene is about.
The beauty of the images testifies for the artistic eye of the filmmaker. It feels like the filmmakers teemed up with some talented photographers as well. The results are pure art, but generous enough to leave the rest of the specific artistic expression enough space. The film inevitably reminds one of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," another recent film. Common themes like the origins of creation and life on earth as well as one's struggle to find a meaning in what might easily seem meaningless, picturesque images presented with the eye of a talented photographer, are features that make the two films seem related. They are also perfect examples of representative artworks in the film industry. Both films benefited of generous budgets, proportionately, which allowed their makers to experiment away, but the results are not necessarily groundbreaking for the art of film. The Tree of Life has the merit of having directly addressed all the "evils" of modern life, focusing on what was otherwise marginally touched and often left incomplete, leaving the viewer with the sense of having missed something important.
Exclusive Brad Pitt Interview for "The Tree Of Life," Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnTMq8IKeb4, Retrieved: Dec 3rd, 2015