The name of the movie is “The Tree of Life,” written and directed by Terrence Malick. I had to read that from the front and back of the DVD cover. It’s a long movie, appreciated only later, not at first, and maybe never.
To me, the best lines in the movie are at the beginning, when the narrator tells us “the Way of Nature is to always get its own way, to lord it over others.” But the Way of Grace is different. The Way of Grace, the story goes, “does not insist on its own way; it doesn’t mind being slighted or forgotten.”
Even if hurts, the story tries to show, choosing the Way of Grace will not make us sorry in the end. Somehow we will not be sorry if we take the Way of Grace.
Throughout the movie, anguish is on Sean Penn’s face, in sad eyes and craggy lines and subdued stillness and sorrowful actions, like when Penn lights the candle, in cobalt blue glass, for his lost brother.
Isn’t it glorious, how some actors are so human, it’s like they are not acting? Such actors give us more than we deserve or pay for. These actors are living for us, like they understand humanity’s anguish. That anguish beats out of their hearts, to us out here, connecting us.
Brad Pitt is in the movie too, in most of the movie. I believed him most when his eyes crinkled with pain and sorrow and regret.
Sometimes, when we are least perfect, but trying to be honest and good and strong, we are most touchingly human.
We search the craggy lines in each other’s faces. Those lines are like directions, so we can find each other.
- The Tree of Life (melissawiley.com)
- Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder Reveals Detailed Synopsis (thepeoplesmovies.com)