We are almost at Oscar time, which means the Academy rolls out a litter of movies that most of us have never seen, won't see, and if we do we ask, "This is the best movie of the year? Then why does it suck?"
Example A: The Tree of Life, which is nominated for Best Picture. This is a movie made not for audiences, but for critics who congratulate themselves on appreciating the finer aspects to film making over a chai-latte espresso. I can't be too critical; this type of snobbery is akin to an NBA fan loving Game 45 of a regular season while the sports journalist yawns, "Booo-ring. Next."
The Tree of Life is directed by Terence Malick and stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, this movie rolls on for more than two-hours full of dialogue so quiet you will ask the person next to you, "Wait ... go back. I couldn't hear that. What did they say?"
What's the movie about? Something about a guy trying to find the meaning of life as he looks back at his youth and his relationship with his strict father. Or it could be about the stock market. Or maybe it's a movie about taking care of planet earth and our natural resources.
The imagery and the cinematagrophy in this fil are stunning and would be great on the big screen. But The Tree of Life isn't 2001: A Space Odyssey. Great imagery can't sustain itself for more than two hours, which at least Stanley Kubrick realized. There needs to be, you know, a story that we can, you know, follow. And dialogue that we can, you know, actually hear. I'm funny that way as a movie viewer.
Malick is hailed as a quiet genius, so A-listers are often lined up to work with him. Same for the late Kubrick.
Malick is more of a poet than filmmaker. The viewer guesses at what he is saying than feeling secure in knowing.
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