Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trippin' balls

Maybe what determines whether or not a movie is any good is whether or not it makes you continue to think about it later.

But maybe not.

Because I continued to think about this movie, The Tree of Life, but most of my thoughts go something like this: 1) I sure wish I was into dropping acid. 2) Jessica Chastain (Celia Foote from The Help, of all people) is awesome. 3) Gah.

I had no idea what this movie was about but I ordered it from Netflix because it was nominated for three Oscars (and should have won best cinematography) and won a whole shit-ton of other awards.

Here's what this movie is about, in a nutshell: It's about a family in the '50s, interspersed with existential whispering and images of the formation of the universe, complete with meteors and dinosaurs.

I know. Who knew?

It was damn weird.

But I really liked the formation of the universe stuff. And what was very cool about that portion was that special effects were in part by a consultant named Douglass Trumbull (think 2001: A Space Odyssey), who had not worked in Hollywood for almost 30 years. So much of what you see was produced with chemicals, paint, dyes, smoke, liquids, carbon dioxide, flares, high speed photography, etc. 

The results are amazing. And the portions that are not special effects are also stunning. Even if the movie is hella weird.

Brad Pitt as Mr. O'Brien; a mean, mean daddy. 
Heath Ledger was supposed to play Mean Daddy, but then he died. 

Jessica Chastain. Brilliance. Should have been nominated. 

I guess you should see it. Critics say it's polarizing. You either love it or you hate it. I haven't decided what I think yet.


  1. I loved this movie. . brilliant acting and once you "get it" - the movie sticks with you. Watch it 2 or 3 times. . makes more sense after that.

    1. I totally respect your admiration for this movie, but once was enough for me. I get it, I just am not sure I like it.

  2. "a mean, mean daddy" that is so little a description, but says so much.

    ok, im adding it to my list!

    1. Oh, boy. Hope I haven't led you astray! hahaha...

  3. My husband is a Visual Effects Producer and he received a screener of this months ago. We've yet to watch it, but now that I know there are a bunch of cool effects in it, perhaps I can convince him. :) You definitely piqued my interest with this post!

    1. He'll love it! I suggest copious wine-drinking before, during, and after.

  4. Out of curiosity, I went to add this to my Netflix queue...only to discover it was already there.


  5. I don't get it, I don't want to get it, I don't care what it's about. Some of the critics I respect call it a masterpiece. As you say, Gah! I love Jessica Chastain, that's the nicest thing I can say about it. Pretentious nonsense. I love a good vent. So thanks for the post!