The Tree of Life Directed by: Terrence Malick Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain Rating: PG-13 Release Date: May 27, 2011
TRAILER SCORE: 9/10
MY THOUGHTS: This trailer's coupling of sound and image is brilliant. The abstract imagery plays beautifully against that of the firmly domestic, and the sweeping score brings it all together perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed this trailer, and If I'm honest, I got quite swept up in it. I feel as if director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World) is now poised to answer all of mankind's greatest questions, to finally reveal the "man behind the curtain" and to show us that all of our existential angst is naught but a waste of time. Sure, that's too much to ask of a mere mortal, but there's enough bittersweet/magical optimism present here to warrant such an expectation. Plus, this is Terrence Malick we're talking about.
I've loved all of Malick's work, and I was excited when I first read about this film, but when I learned who had been cast, I must say I was a little disappointed. I'm surely in the minority here, but I've lately lost all interest in Brad Pitt, so I was bummed to see him cast here, and Sean Penn, whom I believe to be a great actor, has always annoyed me as a person, so the cast here is "Hollywood solid," but in my opinion, it's not the best it could have been. Such casting decisions seem to be more about selling tickets than anything; kind of a lowest common denominator situation. However, casting is the only thing I'd consider suspect here, and it's only a little bit suspect, it's not enough to sway my interest into the off position. On a positive casting note, Jessica Chastain exudes charm in this trailer, and based on her recent spate of casting coups (The Debt, The Wettest County in the World, Wild Salome), I think she's likely to become a household name over the next few years.